Sunday, February 26, 2006

More on Moore

The literature on Moore is vast; here are a few guideposts. If you want to drill down deeper, please throw up your findings on the blog—that’s what it’s here for!

For basic info, the usuals: here, here, and here, where you can hear Moore reading “The Fish.”

There’s a collection of excerpts about Moore from H.D, T.S. Eliot, William Carlos Williams, and others here. This is a good site with a bio of Moore in her own words and a helpful bibliography of work on Moore, another of which you’ll find here.

I enjoyed, but wasn’t especially edified by Charles Molesworth’s 1990 Marianne Moore: A Literary Life, who emphasizes the deep (some might say slightly pathological) family ties that shaped Moore’s life and work. In addition to her syllabics, Moore is famous for collaging quotations from various sources to compose her poems; one major source was the letters and sayings of her mother, who Moore lived with until 1947 (Moore was 60).

Moore carefully controlled and edited the poems that appeared in her lifetime. Recently, the publication of Moore’s early poems have stirred up some very interesting reviews on Moore in outlets like the New York Times and the Times Literary Supplement. You’ll find a handy roundup here. Brad Leithauser’s especially helpful I think on why it’s O.K. to be annoyed with Moore, even if you love her work. Fiona Green (a friend) is characteristically shrewd about why the classic Collected Poems, edited and ruthlessly revised by an elderly Moore, should remain the standard for her poetry.

No comments: