Marianne Moore: Contribution as American Poet

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      Marianne Moore (1887-1972) was born in St. Louis, in Missouri. She also turned towards England. She published her first volume of poetry Poems (1921) with other poetess like Hilda Doolittle. Having her graduation from Bryn Mawr College in 1909, she enrolled for a year in course of business administration. For four years afterward, she taught business in Carlisle School. At the end of 1915, she published some of her poems for the first time in Poetry and the Egoist edited by T.S. Eliot. In 1924, she published her next collections Observations (1924) and won the award for The Dial which she began to edit from the following year 1929. Selected Poems came out in 1935. Pangolin and Other Verse (1936), What are Years 11941), Nevertheless (1944), A. Face (1949), followed it. Her Collected Poems won the Pulitzer Prize in 1951. It was followed by Like a Bulwark (1956), to be a Dragon (1959) and Tell me, Tell me: Granite, Steel, and Other Topics (1966).

      Though Marianne Moore got herself transferred to Manhattan in 1966, she was identified with Brooklyn, her residence. From that time onwards, she gave up the teaching business and turned to the business of poetry. She once wrote that poems were “imaginary gardens with real toads in them.” Some of her poems are conversational, yet elaborate and subtle in their syllabic versification, drawing upon extremely precise descriptions and historical and scientific fact. A “poet’s poet,” she influenced such later poets as her young friend Elizabeth Bishop. Like E.E. Cummings, Hart Crane, and the generation of poets were influenced by Eliot, she wrote poems in which the condensed metaphor transcends the conventional grammatical logic. She drew experience out of the chaotic welter of things seen and compacting it to order and meaning. No one else can present the thing seen in a precise clarity of detail whose simplicity is expanded with wit of the metaphysical poets like Moore. With the publication of Selected Poems (1935) and her Collected Poems (1951) she became more popular as a modem poet. These collections won her National Book Award, Bollingen Award and Pulitzer Prize. Her complete translation of la Fontaine’s fables appeared in 1954 and The Complete Poems of Marianne Moore came out in 1967 and The Complete Prose of Marianne Moore in 1986.

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