Jarrell's Complete Poems is like a Quaker Meeting House for those who have something wrong with them, who feel misallied
: sick children, teenage girls, boyish soldiers bewildered at being sacrificed, sad office workers, aging suburban housewives.
Even when reporting on crime and depravity, they were mindful of their roles as gatekeepers--guardians of "family values" and "community standards." Whether they functioned as judicious filters or up-tight censors or simple old-fashioned killjoys, newspapers seemed constitutionally misallied
with the anything-goes spirit of the Web.
If you want to know what happens when a "mamelouque" sleeps with a mulatto, or a pure-blooded negro with a sacatra, or a mulatto with a negresse, Moreau gives you the result, figured mathematically in eleven tables with titles like "Combinations of White," "Combinations of Negro," "Combinations of Mulatto," "Combinations of Quarteron," and so on through "Marabou." (Note that the thirteenth and fourteenth set of combinations with "Savages and Caribs of America, or Western Indians," and "Oriental Indians" does not concern me here.) The "misallied
" couple is the foundation for Moreau's combinatorial romance: a father and a mother of different colors (unequal in degree of blood) appear in each operation, or "combination" as Moreau terms it.