Observations, published in 1924 in New York by the Dial Press, was Marianne Moore's second book of poems. It was, nevertheless, the book Moore considered her first legitimate collection. It was reprinted a year later in 1925, by which time it had won the Dial Award for Poetry, and wide critical acclaim. Moore's first collection, Poems, was published in London in 1921, by the Egoist Press. The selection had been put together by H. D., Winifred Bryher and Robert McAlmon, H. D.'s husband, ostensibly without Moore's permission. Poems, with its patterned brown-paper cover and hand-glued title sticker, is a small delight, yet Moore's reaction to its publication was complex. In her letters she both acknowledges and disowns it. To her brother, Warner, Moore wrote that she was 'startled to receive from Miss Weaver of The Egoist' her first book of poems: 'a little book of poems of mine collected and published by Hilda, Winifred Bryher and Mr. McAlmon. I will send you a copy as soon as I have decided on, and made, some corrections' (Costello, 1981, p. 170) and
Miss Weaver wrote to me three months ago to know would I be willing to publish something 'before the reviewers scatter for the summer' and I said no. I had also told T. S. Eliot I didn't wish to publish a book and Ezra [Pound] and Hilda [H. D.] and Bryher herself. Several poems could have been put in that aren't in — many should be left out that are in and I would make changes in half the poems that are in. (Ibid.)
Moore's discomfort seems as much to do with the situation she found herself in, of appearing to be less than honest with Eliot, whose offer of help with publication she had refused not long before. She is at pains to reassure Eliot that she knew nothing of the venture and to express her hesitancies as to the quality of the book:
Its publication was a tremendous surprise to me. ... I felt that it was not to my literary advantage to publish work. ... I am aware that everything has been done to give the dignity of size and a beautiful construction and as the act of a friend it is a testi-
mony of affection but if it were the act of an enemy, I should realize that it was an attempt to show how little I had accomplished. (Ibid., p. 171)
Observations carries, after its title page, a note, in effect a disclaimer: 'With additions this book is a reprint of Poems published in London in 1921 by The Egoist Press, that collection being made and arranged by H. D. and Mr and Mrs Robert MacAlmon [sic].' The note inscribes formally the gestures of distancing with which Moore had greeted the publication of Poems. It attributes editorship of the first book and asserts ownership of the new volume. Moore never again (unless we think of her mother in such terms) relinquished editorial control of her texts to any other person. Even after her death, her dictum 'omissions are not accidents' continues to haunt with its constraints the publication of Moore's work. Much of her poetry still remains uncollected.
The note also asserts a set of relationships. For Moore, the community of artists was vital. She worked hard to sustain links with those whose friendship she valued. The circle within which she moved in New York was crucial to her sense of her own identity as a writer, as too were the contacts she kept with people in Europe like Pound and Eliot, and H. D. and Bryher, with whom she maintained a lifelong friendship and correspondence.
Observations, then, still seen as Moore herself saw it, as her first substantial work, marks that moment when Moore, having been granted the luxury of a first sortie into print, took back control of her publication and editorial decisions. It is the moment of 'putting the record straight'. While much else changed and developed, the first imperative, the issue of writerly control and volition, was established once and for all.
Moore's response to Poems, that there were deletions, emendations and additions she would wish to make, shows her desire continually to re-examine her writing as new work is added, modifying the oeuvre. This careful process of modification, emendation and displacement continued throughout Moore's publishing career and provides a rich set of variations for our perusal. Indeed, the notion of a sequence of work steadily under revision, steadily contesting itself and its methods, is crucial to an understanding of Moore's work. Twenty-one of Poems' twenty-four texts were carried forward. A range of typographical changes were made and the order in which the poems appear was altered, though some remain grouped in relationships as they were in Poems. Thirty-four poems were added, only four of which were previously unpublished. 'Poetry' began its contraction towards the famed three-line version of the Complete Poems: 'I, too, dislike it. / Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it, one dis- / covers in / it, after all, a place for the genuine' (Moore, 1990, p. 36).
A volume of poems, particularly one where the writer controls editorial process, always allows that the poems be read conjunctively as well as discretely. Such sequential or horizontal reading sees the poems gathering collective momentum. Throughout Observations it is the relationship between things that Moore interrogates, between ideas, images, tropes, and between poems. The poems establish ongoing, complex, episodic conversations that branch out, are left, returned to and extended. 'Like a
Bulrush', for example, evokes the image of an amphibious creature, a predator. His effectiveness has to do with his ability to maintain an initial perfect stillness and a misleading similitude that masks his capacity to move between two milieux, the land and the water. His predatory, self-interested restraint is underscored by the double entendre of the stanza break: 'he did not strike // them at the / time as being different'. Often thought of as a crane, the subject of the poem establishes an analogue with a particular behaviour, a recurrent approach of Moore's in which animals take on, not only totemic value, but also act as exempla for actions or kinds of behaviour in specific circumstances. From its earliest moments Moore's writing has about it the discursive air of the fable, the allegory, and the panoply of animals in her work invariably demonstrates human action.
Images of land and water and an amphibious predator figure also in 'Sojourn in the Whale', neighbour to 'Like a Bulrush'. Its subject, in fact, is Ireland; surrounded by sea, with its struggles and pain, its mythic dimension and its capacity in the face of appalling difficulty to prevail miraculously, like Jonah, and to survive. The predator's adversarial voice is quoted. Defining Ireland's heritage as 'blindness and native / incompetence', he predicts her demise, coercively equating wisdom with submission: 'she will become wise and will be forced / to give / in'. Water works here as analogy for two very different kinds of action. It is the figure used by the adversary to underscore Ireland's 'inevitable' defeat; it is then turned by the speaker towards the idea of uprising. Voice answers voice and the adversary is refuted. 'You have seen it [water] when obstacles happened / to bar / the path — rise automatically.' Ireland's capacity for miraculous deliverance in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds is reinscribed. Moore took her Irish ancestry most seriously. That she also described her first visit to New York as her 'sojourn in the whale' gives some idea of the impact the experience had upon her.
Animals recur as key figures in 'My Apish Cousins', paramount among them an astringently predatory 'cat', savage in its disdain for the uncomprehending, 'inarticulate frenzy' of 'fledglings' for whom art remains a mystery. Recurrent here too is the image of the sea. 'My Apish Cousins' ends, in one of Moore's fast shifts of attention, with the idea of an ocean capable of swallowing anything that might traverse its surface in the interests of commerce: 'deeper / than the sea when it proffers flattery in exchange / for hemp, / rye, flax, horses, platinum, timber, and fir'.
Moore's connective gestures, her sequential echoes such as the accumulating images of ocean and water, and those of commercial activity, operate throughout the collection. In this sense the end of 'My Apish Cousins' prefigures 'A Grave', as does, most tellingly, the end of 'Reinforcements' which asserts that 'the future of time is determined by the power of volition'. 'Roses Only', which extends the debate on 'the predatory hand', also evokes the issue of beauty ('You do not seem to realize that beauty is a liability rather / than / an asset') which is returned to in 'Marriage'.
Moore's writing was a vocation; it was her life's work. Having determined to make her living by writing and to locate herself within a particular cultural milieu, she set about constructing a self that would 'enable' writing, while also responding to the complexities of her family life. Her brother Warner, an ordained Presbyterian minister, and her mother saw Moore's writing as an act of pietas. Moore constructed her literary persona within this environment. Into these plans marriage did not enter. Her brother's idea for the family to be together 'in service' may well, at least until his own marriage, have been an added imperative.
Richard Aldington described Moore as 'a poet whose mixture of whimsicality, subtlety, cool intelligence, wit, nimbleness of apprehension and old maidenly priggish-ness is something quite original' (Molesworth, 1990, p. 170). Charles Molesworth, Moore's biographer, sees descriptions such as Aldington's as influential in shaping public perception of Moore. Molesworth translates 'old maidenly priggishness' as 'fastidiousness' (ibid.) - a change in terminology which does not escape the vague inference of dysfunction, sexual or otherwise. R. P. Blackmur links the assertion that Moore is sexless with a comment on her 'chaste poetry' which he sees as evincing 'a special chastity aside from the flesh, not a chastity that arises from an awareness of the flesh. A purity by birth and from the void' (Blackmur). Gilbert Sorrentino remarks of Moore's work that 'restraint is like continence', and speaks of the 'really juiceless phenomena' (Sorrentino, 1984, pp. 157-66) of her poetry. Commentators persistently find her 'spinsterhood' troubling, and over the decades have returned to Moore's sexuality or perceived lack of it as a key feature of her poetics and in so doing have neglected her engagement with ontological and theological issues arising from her Protestant framework. That Moore never married has meant that her long poem 'Marriage' has been read attentively, as apologia, by those interested in her 'singularity'. 'Marriage' does construct a debate between male and female. It also frames that debate in primal terms, configuring the man as Adam and the woman as Eve, living now after the Fall, outside the Garden, in the world of time and of death: 'See her, see her in this common world'.
'Marriage' both asserts and resists the beauty of the material, post-lapsarian world where, first and foremost, consciousness is that of separation: 'Below the incandescent stars / below the incandescent fruit, / the strange experience of beauty; / its existence is too much; / it tears one to pieces / and each fresh wave of consciousness / is poison'. Aesthetic experience arises out of a consciousness that is both the consequence of and the awareness of the Fall. It is both pleasure and pain. Beauty, in all its diverse attraction, inscribes loss as it also provides the artist's raison d'etre. In some notes for a public lecture, tentatively entitled 'The Creative Use of Influence', Moore says:
When one is attracted to a thing one is subject to its influence. The influence however should be assimilated. In my own case I seem to import (incorporate bodily) what is too unbearably valuable to let alone - dominates my imagination or ear - haunting and takes charge of me.
The fragmented lines and breathless breaks give a sense of being overwhelmed. The things that are too 'unbearably valuable' to let alone are countered imaginatively by a process of 'bodily incorporation'. Moore's tautology underscores the crucial physi-cality of the process. What takes place is a kind of transubstantiation: the threat of domination, but also the unbearable pain of separation from 'the thing', are answered by an act of assimilation or incorporation. Yet the irrevocable outsideness of the thing leaves her always subject to its power. The pull of attraction exerted by the thing is such that volition is threatened and control undermined.
Moore's sense of commitment to a profound theological loss is always balanced by a belief in the restored, multitudinous condition of the natural world. Moore's theology, however, in which desire characterizes the post-lapsarian condition, works in conjunction with a second way of reading. Desire also becomes a positive force of production, an act of volition capable of creating links between objects, forging alliances and establishing connections. Thus Moore catalogues, collects and, above all, names and makes. Separation from the causa prima and 'first object' is the lapsarian condition, the starting point of differentiation. But the emptiness filled with things is both fundamental deficiency and sign of a transcendental potentiality. Moore's poetry sets up a dialectic of mourning while also raising the question of a libidinal investment in a finite world.
In 'Marriage' the pun on 'common', meaning (as in 'common grave') anonymous or without name, defines the world's condition. It was the firm belief of George Herbert, whose work Moore knew and loved, or indeed his predecessor Sir Philip Sidney, that it became the Christian, consequent upon the Fall, to name things and in that act of making which is poetry, to reinscribe them. Sidney in The Defence of Poetry defended such a stance from the orthodox Calvinist who averred that the appropriating of naming to oneself, the act of writing poetry, was an act of hubris, of pride against God. Moore's writing supported this rich convention of heterodoxy. She often obliquely interrogates Protestant theology, seemingly unnoticed by her brother and mother, despite their steady readership of her work, suggesting a 'heretical' reinscription of a personal faith in the face of the familial constraints that were the concomitant of her artistic selfhood and its vocational commitment to remaining 'unattached'.
The poem 'Black Earth', which before disappearing from the published 'oeuvre' was renamed 'Melanchthon' making explicit the link with Philip Melanchthon, Luther's insurgent contemporary (whose name means 'black earth'), underscores the idea of Moore's own heterodoxy. In 'Black Earth' the experiential nature of existence makes problematic the possibility of a baptismal cleansing. The 'patina of circumstance' and 'unpreventable experience' are part of a process of enrichment that contradicts the notion of washing away such experience. The layers of the sediment add to the complexity of the elephant's thick skin. In a world defined by things and by doing, the elephant epitomizes the limited sight (for now I see through a glass darkly) of 'black glass'. This condition, however, with its 'beautiful element of unreason', is affirmed. It is not to be repudiated but is cause for a calm certainty.
That certainty is arrived at again in 'When I Buy Pictures'. The title operates as a first line and signals the onset of the discursive voice. Moore uses such run-on titles frequently, as entry points marking the onset of utterance. Within the space of a line, however, qualification begins as the poem moves towards the precision of 'truth': 'When I buy pictures / Or what is closer to the truth, / when I look at that of which I may regard myself as / the imaginary possessor . . .'.
Possession is seen as imaginary, a shift that arises from a looking which almost immediately becomes self-reflexive, where to look at (regard) is to value (have regard for). The distancing is from actual ownership, though buying and possessing remain at issue here as elsewhere. Moore returns repeatedly to the problematic of ownership, even in its relation to description, to naming and to writing itself. To own or to possess is to appropriate with authority. The issue is side-stepped, however, in 'When I Buy Pictures'. The focus shifts to the pleasure gained from the scopic relationship between perceiver and thing perceived. Pleasure arises from a thing capable of giving pleasure 'in my average moments'. The engagement is not out of the ordinary. It is with mundane things, the things of 'the world', this everyday life. A catalogue, a list ensues, a tendency underscored throughout Observations by Moore's wry and delightful inclusion of an index to the whole work. The 'things' in this poem that pleasure range from an artichoke, a square of parquet, a hieroglyph, a decorated hatbox, a photograph, a painting.
To 'fix upon' things, close looking, observation, is required. Focused visual perception is the crucial means of engagement with the material world, a looking/finding which has the capacity to engender pleasure in the perceiver. But the 'taking' of pleasure is conditional and the conditions of constraint upon that 'enjoyment' are defined: 'Too stern an intellectual emphasis upon this quality or that, / detracts from one's enjoyment'. Nor can pleasure be taken where there is the desire to exercise power. One 'must not wish to disarm anything'. Pleasure cannot be had through an inequitable relation of cause and effect, through diminishment, through predation, or at the 'expense' of any other thing, 'that which is great because something else is small'.
'When I Buy Pictures' asserts that the capacity for pleasure exists in the willed, direct relationship between perceiver and thing perceived. Yet the poem does not present its most pertinent points directly but itself operates reflexively as a 'satire upon curiosity'. Moore's poetry, abounding with things that are the objects of her attention, often deals wryly with its own scopic curiosity. It evokes collection and connoisseurship. It establishes taxonomies. It takes pleasure in these things. Yet it also negotiates constantly with the problematic of such writing, questioning how to describe without owning, how to write of things without implication in the authority of definition, how to write but not at the expense of the autonomous things upon which the writing focuses. Imaginary possession still carries the risk of definitive, unsubtle and proscriptive relations, tendencies which Moore counters often through formal strategies. Her collage technique, for example, demonstrates not only a wish to question the univocal, as does her multiple naming, but to assert the materiality and constructedness of her art. Even her notes, which after Observations were always a part of her collections, offer over time less guidance to the reader, as if resist ing explication while valuing the increased readerly effort that less explanation encourages.
Since mutability and transience define the post-lapsarian condition, however, the world of things must itself always exist as a paradox. In all its complexity, with all its capacity to engender pleasure, it is shadowed. 'When I Buy Pictures' lists the things in which one might delight, those that give particular pleasure. But delight in 'the silver fence protecting Adam's grave' must intersect with the notion of Adam's mortality, the dire consequence of his expulsion into time itself. That expulsion is figured by the final item on Moore's list, the representation of 'Michael taking / Adam by the wrist' to lead him from The Garden. These are the concomitants of Moore's 'average moments'. It becomes very noticeable that time is figured elsewhere in the poem; the 'old thing', the 'hour-glass' and its associated 'diminishing'.
The final lines of the poem return to the one vital act of attention which must inform the relationship with the temporal, plenitudinous world. Enjoyment must be 'lit with piercing glances into the life of things'; one's pleasure in a thing must be based on 'acknowledging] the spiritual forces which have made it'. Making, in Moore's terms, at its best is always aligned with an act of grace.
Moore's poems, then, frequently begin with one thing but end somewhere else altogether. Reading entails movement, being moved, through a thought process. An argument is articulated and its shifts are demonstrated one after the other, though there are often shifts that feel disjunctive. Invariably, however, there is a logic to them. Often negation is used to establish important information by saying what a thing is not. In 'New York', which explores settlement and trade, a series of negatives details while stretching beyond to some other meaning altogether: 'it is not the atmosphere of ingenuity'; 'it is not the plunder'.
In 'A Grave' the sea is likewise defined by its ability not to be owned. Though the look of the spectator is rapacious, and his gaze one of appropriation, the sea cannot be claimed as part of a collection, cannot be claimed as can the land by conquest or settlement. The sea matches human rapacity with an equivalent capacity. It answers claim with claim. That which we are is here mirrored and bested. The fir trees, marking the edge of the land, process funereal towards the sea's edge. They are reserved, saying nothing. This, however, is termed 'repression'. That which might be spoken is not articulated but is repressed. The sea does not share this characteristic. It will match desire, to claim a thing for one's own, with desire.
'A Grave' acts as warning, as cautionary tale. The 'others' whose gaze also once evinced rapacity are now beyond being even bones. 'There are others besides you who have worn that look — / whose expression is no longer a protest; the fish no longer / investigate them / for their bones have not lasted'. The knowledge of such things is repressed. Those who work the sea are oblivious of the dead for whom the sea is a grave. The quick rowing of the fishermen indicates their repressed awareness of the sea as the figure par excellence of death. The rowers' position upon the surface is one of denial: 'as if there were no such thing as death'. Transient life is a disturbance upon the surface, about which we are warned: 'the pulsation of lighthouse and noise / of bell-buoys'. And while the sea is implacable in its ordinary advance, it dissembles, proffering a surface of daily ordinariness that masks the fact and presence of death, the 'nothingness' of the grave.
That ocean of time into which Adam and Eve first were dropped is also, of course, the grave. 'Dropped things are bound to sink'; the fall was always into time, a descent as it was for Adam and Eve, towards death. For Moore, the greatest hubris is thinking that we can, in time, by what ever means, own anything. In fact time entirely owns us. To deny our temporality, which is to deny our mortality, is a repression of knowledge, and of death itself. It renders us unconscious of our condition and unconscious we are stripped of will and volition. We turn and twist, unknowingly.
Yet how can one 'turn and twist' with volition and consciousness? The answer lies in making poetry itself. Moore's writing from its earliest moments systematically seeks to undo unknowing and loss of volition. While silence is repression, speech is a bringing into consciousness through tropaic activity. Through writing, thought is brought into the consciousness of language. Writing is the crucial act of volition, that which constructs as trope the vessel of grace whose construction and capacity is an act of grace, whether it be empty of things or not. And so in the old Protestant conundrum between fallen nature and free will, the heterodox Moore comes down firmly on the side of will.
'A Grave', then, crucially identifies the condition of the fallen world with figurative activity. Figurative activity, in turn, frames Moore's attitude to the physical world, in that the things of the world function tropaically, function as tropes. The Greek meaning of tropein, 'to turn or twist', is the phrase towards which 'A Grave' moves: 'looking as if it were not that ocean in / which dropped things are bound to sink — / in which if they turn and twist, it is neither with volition / nor consciousness'. To 'turn and twist without volition or consciousness' is to be caught unknowingly in post-lapsarian experience. Only consciousness entails will. Moore's Calvinist heritage asserts that because we are fallen, we are figured; the world itself is figured, and our stories, our very lives operate primarily as trope.
'In the Days of Prismatic Colour', the 'days of Adam' are differentiated from 'the days of Adam and Eve', and both are differentiated from a present now: 'it is no / longer that'. Colour signifies a process of loss, from an originary, prismatic, unmodified condition of 'original plainness' where plainness, as it did so often for Herbert and his contemporaries, intends both openness and fullness. The 'original plainness' thus carries the sense of unfallen plenitude. The fullness and primariness of unfallen colour becomes, in the fallen world, a fraught complexity which risks murkiness where 'nothing is plain', that is, obvious and full, and both perception and 'account' are modified. Darkness and pestilence shadow this kind of complexity, which 'moves all a- / bout as if to bewilder us'. Sophistication, defined sibilantly, in snake-like terms as 'principally throat', exists at a far remove from originality, 'the init- / ial great truths', as Lucifer comes to exist removed from and entirely opposed to grace as its antithesis, and 'antipodes'.
The insistence on sophistication's location as being 'principally throat' suggests that vocal disputation, insistence as persuasion, stand at a remove from truth. The poem addresses a particular rhetoric of construction, a style of writing, 'the gurgling and all the minutiae', the 'multitude of feet'. The approach is seen as purposeless, fruitless. Neither fixed nor formal, truth transcends the constraints of a 'classics' formality of style, epitomized by the Apollo Belvedere, which accounts itself as 'sophisticated'. Truth transcends the dark complexities of a world where any account, any writing without exception, must necessarily stretch towards an absent clarity. The transcendental nature of truth, however, is such that it is impervious to cataclysm. The language of pestilence and of flood, 'the wave may go over it if it likes', must be read together here, and be framed in turn by the prismatic evocation of the rainbow, signalling in its 'plain intent' the possibility of grace.
Thus Moore's writing establishes an insistent materiality which is the site and source of our visionary capacity. The natural world, in which Moore is complicit, encourages a complex libidinal investment in things. Moore's persona is 'the subject sustaining [herself] in a function of desire', implicating her in as complex a sensual and moral system as sexuality itself. Desire and pleasure, violence, both intellectual and physical, and power, both political and personal, permeate her writing. The irresistible thing is unbearably valuable, and the problematic of possession and ownership is always also that of colonization. Amongst the colonial imperatives explored by Moore's poetry, none is more pressing than that of America. Discomforted by its history, and like Williams, committed to its nationhood, Moore subjects America itself to scrutiny.
The title of 'England' misleads in seeming to suggest a subject. Instead it begins a catalogue. A set of geographical locations each has its defining factors listed. England is framed imaginatively, 'one voice perhaps, echoing through the tran / sept'. The narrative voice, marked by the 'perhaps', demonstrates both the control and the construction of a fiction. Each geographical definition is underscored by this narrative fictiveness which is the fictiveness of established knowledge, of assumption. The poem's geography establishes a cumulative force and each place is attributed virtue: England is defined by its criteria of suitability and convenience; Italy contrives an epicureanism without grossness; Greece nurtures the modification of illusion, hatches philosophical inquiry; France has its complex products; the East is imperturbable. England, Italy, France, Greece and the East are afforded separation each from the others. America comes last. Not England, but America, by coming last in the list, appended with paratactic ease, becomes the focus of the poem's differentiations. America is the reason for the text's comparative laudations, and is the actual subject of the poem entitled 'England'. If last arrived at, then America is set contrapuntally against those in the poem that came earlier; Europe and Asia are established that they might be departed from. The continent of arrival is America.
The poem's procedure mimics the process of settlement: pre-established terms of reference, deferred arrival, the slow, often problematic movement towards defining a different entity. 'England' also critiques the habit of generalizing from a few misap prehended particulars: 'To have misapprehended the mat- / ter, is to have confessed / that one has not looked far enough'. Or carefully enough. Though the collective value of the old continents is acknowledged: sublimated wisdom; discernment; emotion compressed; self-containment; self-fulfilment even: 'I envy nobody but him and him only, who catches / more fish than / I do' (Walton, The Compleat Angler), the danger of generalizing from an already-established knowledge-base remains. Difference established by generalization arising from prior knowledge, such a commonplace of the colonial experience, fails to apprehend crucial distinctions and overlooks the capacity for other knowledge, other excellence.
Locality is the term with which one is left in 'England', and the assertion that excellence has the capacity to present itself in any location. It is not confined by the exigencies of any one geography, nor by the specificity of a particular culture, nor disallowed by the phenomenon of 'newness'. To think that any 'new world' exists as lacking is to assert one's own inattention. One must not imagine that just because one has not found the flower and the fruit they are not there. A different and further knowing is always possible. Moore's dictum, in which of course her own writing is implicated, turns outward to the reader and in the end, throughout Observations, it is the reader in whom she most seeks to engender attentiveness and receptiveness, the reader whose eyes she most desires, in her particular way, to open.
Bloom, Harold (ed.) (1987). Modern Critical Views: Marianne Moore. New York: Chelsea House.
Costello, Bonnie (1981). Marianne Moore: Imaginary Possessions. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Heuving, Jeanne (1992). Omissions Are Not Accidents: Gender in the Art of Marianne Moore. Detroit: Wayne State University Press.
Holley, Margaret (1987). The Poetry of Marianne Moore: A Study in Voice and Value: Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Molesworth, Charles (1990). Marianne Moore: A Literary Life. Boston: Northeastern University Press.
Moore, Marianne (1921). Poems. London: Egoist Press.
Moore, Marianne (1924, 1925). Observations. New York: Dial Press.
Moore, Marianne (1951). Collected Poems. New York: Macmillan.
Moore, Marianne (1967, 1990). Complete Poems. London: Faber and Faber.
Schultze, Robin G. (1995). The Web of Friendship: Marianne Moore and Wallace Stevens. Ann Arbor: Michigan University Press.
Sorrentino, Gilbert (1984). Something Said. North Point Press.
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