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Selected Poetry of Marianne Moore (1887-1972)


from Representative Poetry On-line
Prepared by members of the Department of English at the University of Toronto
from 1912 to the present and published by the University of Toronto Press from 1912 to 1967.
RPO Edited by Ian Lancashire
A UTEL (University of Toronto English Library) Edition
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries
© 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto

Index to poems

... an animal with claws wants to have to use
them; that eel-like extension of trunk into tail is not an accident. To
leap, to lengthen out, divide the air -- to purloin, to pursue.
to tell the hen: fly over the fence, go in the wrong way -- in your perturba­
tion -- this is life; to do less would be nothing but dishonesty.
        (Peter)
  1. Marriage
  2. Peter
  3. Poetry
  4. Silence
  5. To an Intra-mural Rat


Notes on Life and Works

Marianne Moore was born November 15, 1887, in Kirkwood, Missouri, raised largely by her mother, a schoolteacher at the Metzger Institute in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Marianne Moore entered Bryn Mawr in 1905. After graduation in 1909, she learned shorthand and typewriting at Carlisle Commercial College and joined the work force and by 1911 was teaching business at the United States Indian School in Carlisle. Moore moved with her mother to Greenwich Village in New York (St. Luke's Place) in 1914 and began to publish poetry, to which craft she had been devoted since childhood, in Harriet Monroe's Poetry (Chicago), The Egoist (London), Others (New York), and The Dial. Her first book was issued by the Egoist Press without her knowledge in 1921, but Observations, which was fully hers, came out with her notes in 1924. It won The Dial award. Moore and her mother moved in 1929 to 260 Cumberland Street, Brooklyn, where she stayed until 1966, in which year she returned to Greenwich Village. Her subsequent books of poetry included Selected Poems, introduced by T. S. Eliot (1935), The Pangolin and Other Verse (1936), What Are Years (1941), Nevertheless (1944), Collected Poems (1951), which she dedicated to her late mother, Like a Bulwark (1956), O To Be a Dragon (1959), The Arctic Ox (1964), Tell Me, Tell Me (1966), and Complete Poems (1967). Moore had also translated La Fontaine's Fables (1954). She received many honours during her lifetime: election to the National Institute of Arts and Letters, the Bollingen Prize, a National Book Award, a Pulitzer Prize, and the Gold Medal for Poetry from the National Institute. She died on February 5, 1972, 84 years old.

Moore's manuscripts are at the Philip H. and A. S. W. Rosenbach Foundation in Philadelphia. See also

Biographical information

Given name: Marianne Craig
Family name: Moore
Birth date: 15 November 1887
Death date: 5 February 1972
Nationality: American
Literary period: modern