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The Poems of Marianne Moore [Hardcover]

Miss Marianne Moore


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Book Description

20 Nov 2003
More than thirty years after her death, Marianne Moore continues to be one of America’s best-loved poets, and is now regarded as one of the most significant and influential voices of the twentieth century. However, her inaccurately titled Complete Poems (Faber and Faber, 1968), from which the poet decided to omit nearly half of her published poetry - ‘omissions are not accidents’ - gave readers only a partial view of her work. The Poems of Marianne Moore, scrupulously edited by the poet Grace Schulman, for the first time includes all of Moore’s poems, among them more than one hundred previously uncollected and unpublished versions. Organized chronologically, to allow readers to follow Moore’s development as a poet, the volume includes an introduction and all of Moore’s original notes to the poems, together with Schulman’s editorial notes, attributions and the most significant variants. This long-awaited volume will reveal the true scope of Marianne Moore’s poetry, particularly her increasingly admired early verse, and introduces her work to a new generation of readers in what will become the definitive edition. ‘I am tempted simply to call her our greatest modern poet.’ John Ashbery ‘Moore’s poems form part of the small body of durable poetry written in our time.’ T. S. Eliot ‘For sureness of execution, for originality of technical accomplishment, her poetry is unsurpassed in our time.’ Randall Jarrell


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More than thirty years after her death, Marianne Moore continues to be one of America’s best-loved poets, and is now regarded as one of the most significant and influential voices of the twentieth century. However, her inaccurately titled ‘Complete Poems’ (Faber and Faber, 1968), from which the poet decided to omit nearly half of her published poetry - ‘omissions are not accidents’ - gave readers only a partial view of her work.

‘The Poems of Marianne Moore’, scrupulously edited by the poet Grace Schulman, for the first time includes all of Moore’s poems, among them more than one hundred previously uncollected and unpublished versions. Organized chronologically, to allow readers to follow Moore’s development as a poet, the volume includes an introduction and all of Moore’s original notes to the poems, together with Schulman’s editorial notes, attributions and the most significant variants.

This long-awaited volume will reveal the true scope of Marianne Moore’s poetry, particularly her increasingly admired early verse, and introduces her work to a new generation of readers in what will become the definitive edition.


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It is an oddity of American letters that no major poet is cherished more and known less than Marianne Moore (1887-1972). Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars flawed but valuable 7 Sep 2008
By divine sarah - Published on Amazon.com
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."
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More of Moore 8 Mar 2006
By Arch Llewellyn - Published on Amazon.com
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.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The paperback corrects errors of transcription in the hardcover but beware of the editor's "conscientious inconsistency" 19 Nov 2008
By Mark F. Isham - Published on Amazon.com
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.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The paperback corrects errors of transcription in the hardcover but beware of the editor's "conscientious inconsistency" 19 Nov 2008
A Kid's Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Marianne Moore's sensibility and language sing to me 29 Mar 2013
By Pat Shepherd - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is one book that I treasure most in my library. I learn so very much from her own experience.
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