Week 9: Marianne Moore’s Observations

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While hanging out in the foothills of Sequoia National Park this weekend I read this collection of Marianne Moore’s poetry. The introduction is excellent, and I’d recommend reading it before diving into her work. Reading this collection gave me an appreciate for the complexity in Moore’s work. I learned from the introduction that her poem “Poetry” has been published in multiple variations. She dropped the 29 line poem down to just 3 lines in one such event. The book holds two versions (but not the 3 line one), and reading them side by side was interesting and fun to think about. I love Moore’s approach of published edited versions of her poems and acknowledging them as such– sometimes as a reader we want finality from a poem or perhaps concreteness, which can hinder the poet’s ability to communicate. Moore breaks through this and I’m happier as a writer to feel empowered to do the same if I feel like it.

 

3 comments on “Week 9: Marianne Moore’s Observations”

  1. I just love the image of you in the foothills reading this book…! And the idea of allowing her poems to shift as the needs arise is wonderful- I think someone (Emerson) once said “consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds” 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I have the same reaction to this idea of publishing multiple versions of a poem: permission to change and…more importantly…to be satisfied with the treatment of a poetic impulse in more than one form. Good stuff for a writer to read.

    Liked by 2 people

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