Tag Archives: Marianne Moore

“It is dark speckled. An airstrip? A cemetery?”

Today is the day (I just read in Tom Nissley‘s A Reader’s Book of Days over my morning cereal) that Elizabeth Bishop met Marianne Moore and vice-versa, a fitting prompt for this month’s Objects poem—”12 O’Clock News” by Elizabeth Bishop. 

*If you have New Yorker access, you can read it in a nicer online format here. But it’s also in Geography III and of course her Complete Poems, and what the hell are you doing being alive and not having Bishop’s Complete Poems at hand anyhoo? 

This is a very writer’s writer’s piece, and I’d not argue it’s her bestest ever, but the elements of her voice that encompass wryness-of-the-self, and a bit of that which I affectionately call cheesiness, but really is a flavor of sentimentality*, and at last and best her humor, are throughout so it’s a refreshing read now and then. Continue reading

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Miss Moore, Briefly

I like Marianne Moore. I do acknowledge that Moore can be hard. And that not every single one of her poems is great.

James Dickey (though he later said he had changed his mind a little about how much he thought of her work) wrote of Moore that

Few poets […] have shown how endlessly various, how ingenious and idiosyncratic and inexplicably fascinating, how sheerly interesting the world is in its multifarious aspects […]

He also says

In her “burning desire to be explicit,” Miss Moore tells us that facts make her feel “profoundly grateful.” This is because knowledge, for her, is not power but love, and in loving it is important to know what you love, as widely and as deeply and as well as possible.

Like I said, I know what Moore’s limitations are, Continue reading

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Weekend Getaway

Gas up the car, put on some poetic tunes, and head to the coast to get to know some fish or crustaceans.

Or head inland, if you like, to a creek. Or go higher, and climb around over the rocks.

Or just drive, and drive, and drive. (But not for so long that you’re tempted to marry your automobile…)

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