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The Poems of Marianne Moore Paperback – March 29, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0143039082 ISBN-10: 0143039083 Edition: Reprint

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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Classics
  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Reprint edition (March 29, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143039083
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143039082
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #352,491 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Poets and critics now consider Moore (1887-1972) a major modern American poet, equal (or almost equal) to T.S. Eliot, and maybe better than (if nothing like) Ezra Pound. Most of her best poems appeared (just as theirs did) during the 1910s, '20s and '30s. Yet Moore left some of those poems (and most of her earliest verse) out when, near the end of her life, she prepared her own Complete Poems; other famous poems entered that volume only in late, much-revised versions. Schulman's long-anticipated volume presents, for the first time, the full span of Moore's work, from her flirtatious, tangy collegiate light verse, through a trove of promising poems from the 1910s, and including masterpieces that for decades were available only in libraries. Moore's careful ethics and elaborately arranged stanzas seem almost more relevant to contemporary poetry than they did to poets of her own generation, though Schulman, a poet herself and the poetry editor of the Nation, perhaps overstates Moore's influence in an awestruck introduction. All Moore's well-known poems are here, of course, including "The Steeple-Jack," "Marriage," and "Poetry" ("I, too, dislike it") in both its longest and its shortest versions. The real selling points, though, are the long out-of-print poems-most of them enlightening, a few ("Melancthon," "Radical," "An Old Tiger," "Dock Rats") as good as anything she chose to keep. As Moore herself explained (in a poem she later suppressed), "Compliments are free/ To all but are not synonymous with admiration": admiration is what this volume will attract.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

The great American modernist Moore (1887-1972) was nothing if not self-critical, and the book she entitled The Complete Poems of Marianne Moore (1967) excluded more than half the poems she had published. Schulman, who, when she was 14, became acquainted with Moore and wrote her doctoral thesis on Moore's work, with Moore's cooperation, now restores Moore's exclusions, not just in this book's main text but in editorial notes, among which variants of several poems, some of them quite different from their canonical siblings, appear. (Notice, however, Schulman's reluctance to claim completeness for her edition; apparently there are files to be opened yet.) The resultant volume is important in two ways. For Moore's enthusiasts, it is so much more Moore. For readers who have never warmed to the highly allusive, botanically and zoologically detailed lyrics for which she is admired, the great number of earlier, more accessible poems that opens this book constitutes a welcome entree into her work, thanks to Schulman's wise decision to present the poems in chronology. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By divine sarah on September 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book is a must for students of Moore as it is the only one that contains all poems from her long career. Grace Shulman is a loving and conscientious editor, but the careful reader suffers much frustration because of the arrangement of the notes. Moore annotated herself extensively and also requires editorial notes because she wrote so many versions of her poems. Shulman rightly includes both sets of notes on every poem, but this edition makes it difficult to find them in the back of the book. They are arranged chronologically, so one has to know the date of each poem in order to look up the note. If there is a future edition, I hope simple page headings can be added, such as "Notes to pages 100-115."
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Arch Llewellyn on March 8, 2006
Format: Paperback
Every Marianne Moore fan needs this book, and even the casual reader will benefit from all the uncollected poems Grace Schulman includes in this volume, nearly twice as big as the standard Complete Poems Moore published in her lifetime.

Moore was a savage editor of her work, and insisted on collecting only what she considered the very best of her poems, often significantly revised over the years. Schulman pulls back the curtain to let you see the earlier versions, in the chronological order in which they were written, along with many very fine poems that didn't pass muster with Moore. You get four versions of the famous "Poetry," for instance ("I, too, dislike it")-the 1919 original included in the body of the text and the three variants Moore wrote over the next 40 years tucked helpfully in the Notes at the back.

The upshot is that you get a much clearer sense of Moore's development and characteristic concerns. Every bit as formidable, she also becomes just a little more human when you see the full range of her writing. Some of the false starts and minor pieces can often be more revealing than the Greatest Hits (though sometimes what Moore considered minor can be scary.) Now that Schulman's book is available as a paperback, I wonder how many of these lesser-known poems will eventually find their way into the anthologies.

Schulman also won me over by including Moore's earliest poem, written for Christmas in 1895 when she was 8:

Dear St. Nicklus:

This Christmas morn

You do adorn

Bring Warner a horn

And me a doll

That is all.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have found Moore's poetry difficult to read in her Collected/Selected/Complete volumes because I could never grow beyond the perception of her poetry that magazine readers must have had--her poetry always appeared in isolated poetic moments and not a continuity of development. "The Poems of Marianne Moore" allows us to see her grow as a poet--as others state in the reviews for this book. However, Heather Cass White in "A Quiver of Significance: Marianne Moore 1932-36" warns of two problems in "The Poems of Marianne Moore". The editor reprints poems with "conscientious inconsistency"--meaning she sometimes chooses the 1967 version of the poem, Moore's last revision before her death, and sometimes chooses to reprint an earlier version of a poem. We never know, as Heather Cass White says, "what stage of thinking is reflected in any given poem". A further problem arises because the hardcover contains "frequent errors of transcription", again I quote White. I have not personally traced all those errors and those errors have been corrected in the paperback edition, however, be aware of the limitations of this praiseworthy effort.
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