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From the Archive: Ezra Pound and Marianne Moore
Groundbreaking Book: Selected Poems by Marianne Moore (1935)
Poetry Landmark: The Brooklyn Bridge in New York City
Poetry Landmark: The Marianne Moore Collection at the Rosenbach Museum & Library in Philadelphia, PA
A Brief Guide to Modernism
Other Modernist Poets
E. E. Cummings
Ezra Pound
Gertrude Stein
H. D.
Hart Crane
Mina Loy
T. S. Eliot
Wallace Stevens
William Carlos Williams
External Links
Mooring Gaps: Marianne Moore's Bryn Mawr Poetry
An interactive web resource, illustrating the subtle alterations in Moore's poems.
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Marianne Moore
Photo George Platt Lynes

Marianne Moore

Born near St. Louis, Missouri, on November 15, 1887, Marianne Moore was raised in the home of her grandfather, a Presbyterian pastor. After her grandfather's death, in 1894, Moore and her family stayed with other relatives, and in 1896 they moved to Carlisle, Pennsylvania. She attended Bryn Mawr College and received her B.A. in 1909. Following graduation, Moore studied typing at Carlisle Commercial College, and from 1911 to 1915 she was employed as a school teacher at the Carlisle Indian School. In 1918, Moore and her mother moved to New York City, and in 1921, she became an assistant at the New York Public Library. She began to meet other poets, such as William Carlos Williams and Wallace Stevens, and to contribute to the Dial, a prestigious literary magazine. She served as acting editor of the Dial from 1925 to 1929. Along with the work of such other members of the Imagist movement as Ezra Pound, Williams, and H. D., Moore's poems were published in the Egoist, an English magazine, beginning in 1915. In 1921, H.D. published Moore's first book, Poems, without her knowledge.

Moore was widely recognized for her work; among her many honors were the Bollingen prize, the National Book Award, and the Pulitzer Prize. She wrote with the freedom characteristic of the other modernist poets, often incorporating quotes from other sources into the text, yet her use of language was always extraordinarily condensed and precise, capable of suggesting a variety of ideas and associations within a single, compact image. In his 1925 essay "Marianne Moore," William Carlos Williams wrote about Moore's signature mode, the vastness of the particular: "So that in looking at some apparently small object, one feels the swirl of great events." She was particularly fond of animals, and much of her imagery is drawn from the natural world. She was also a great fan of professional baseball and an admirer of Muhammed Ali, for whom she wrote the liner notes to his record, I Am the Greatest! Deeply attached to her mother, she lived with her until Mrs. Moore's death in 1947. Marianne Moore died in New York City in 1972.

Selected Bibliography


Collected Poems (1951)
Like a Bulwark (1956)
Nevertheless (1944)
O to Be a Dragon (1959)
Observations (1924)
Poems (1921)
Selected Poems (1935)
Tell Me, Tell Me (1966)
The Arctic Fox (1964)
The Complete Poems of Marianne Moore (1967)
The Pangolin and Other Verse (1936)
What Are Years? (1941)


A Marianne Moore Reader (1961)
Predilections (1955)
The Complete Prose of Marianne Moore (1987)


Rock Crystal (1945)
The Fables of La Fontaine (1954)


From the Image Archive
Poems by
Marianne Moore

A Grave
Baseball and Writing
Diligence Is to Magic as Progress Is to Flight
Feed Me, Also, River God
He "Digesteth Harde Yron"
Sojourn in the Whale
Spenser's Ireland
The Fish
The Paper Nautilus
To a Steam Roller
When I Buy Pictures
You Are Fire Eaters

Prose by
Marianne Moore

Letters of Marianne Moore

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