Complete Poems by Marianne Moore


I’ve been carrying Marianne Moore with me and managed to read Complete Poems in a waiting room, at a coffee shop, volunteering at an art gallery where I write you from. I need more time with this book in order to fully appreciate it, but I use these reading sessions as an opportunity to get through a full volume of poetry without worrying much about “getting it” and letting the language wash over me. Reading this in continuity helped me get a deeper sense of Moore’s writing style and themes. For one, I need to look up quite a few terms since they are unfamiliar to me– her use of the English language is far superior to mine. There are notes at the back with a few illustrations and long explanations of references that I have glanced through but not fully explored. There are even some illustrations that made me smile– she is thorough!

I love the cover photo–

Also, I am currently studying white and I cannot begin to say how many times she uses the word white in her poetry– I was surprised! There is even a poem about an albino giraffe that tickled me. I was thinking about counting how many times she uses the term but have decided to wait on that endeavor — it is remarkable how things appear when we happen to be looking for them.

I love a solid poetry collection and Moore delivered. If you haven’t spent significant time with this poet, I encourage you to do so.

6 comments on “Complete Poems by Marianne Moore”

  1. borkali, Marianne Moore has been on my list of poets I need to investigate further for some time so I am grateful that you have shared your trek through this book. I love that there are illustrations! And I really love what you say about reading through without worrying about “getting it”, about “letting the language wash over” you. I do this myself, especially when encountering a new poet. Or even new work by a familiar poet. To feel the ebb and flow of the language, let ideas and themes percolate…

    As to white, the study of white, so wide open. The absence of color. The presence of all color. Ooooh, look forward to this…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I feel like I got to know M.M. by carrying her around and integrating her words into my day-to-day. She is very clever and her poetry is full of irony and humor– I feel inspired to continue somehow

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Marianne Moore was mentioned in the latest PoemTalk, borkali. Appreciatively. Must get to her.

    White. This spurred me to pull Tender Buttons from my shelf. Full of color–the word “color” and the names we have attached these various emanations of light.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I loved your post. The portrait of the author on the cover is so beautiful. I too am anxious to here about your adventures with white!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I love this photograph of Moore, too, Barbara. It set me to thinking about whether this dramatic lighting could do good things for me. Nah. Probably not. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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