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.
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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
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While other members of our discussion group had volumes titled "complete poems," they were not in fact, complete, and lacked the extended notes and personal insights df... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Gloria Peck
This is one book that I treasure most in my library. I learn so very much from her own experience.Published on March 29, 2013 by Pat Shepherd