Marianne Moore (Marianne Craig Moore) Biography
(1887–1972), (Marianne Craig Moore), Others, The Dial, The Egoist, Poems, Observations, Selected Poems, The Pangolin, Nevertheless
American poet, born in St Louis, Missouri, educated at Bryn Mawr College; she grew up in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Her specialization in biology informs the many poems based on her observations of animals, which occasionally employ items of scientific vocabulary. In 1916 she became acquainted with W. C. Williams and the group of poets associated with the New York magazine Others; in 1918 she moved to New York where she lived for the rest of her life. She worked as a teacher, a secretary, and a librarian from 1911 to 1925, when she became editor of The Dial, in which her poetry had been published regularly. From 1915 onward her verse appeared frequently in The Egoist; her contributions to the magazine were assembled into a first collection without her knowledge by Winifred Ellerman and Hilda Doolittle, who had been her classmate at Bryn Mawr, and published in London as Poems by the Egoist Press in 1921. Observations followed in 1924, after which no further volume appeared until her Selected Poems of 1936, which, with its introduction by T. S. Eliot, initiated a wider recognition of her idiosyncratic achievements. Her numerous subsequent collections included The Pangolin (1936), Nevertheless (1944), O To Be a Dragon (1959), and The Arctic Ox (1964); a revised edition of her Complete Poems (1959) was produced in 1981. The intricate syllabic forms and deftly unobtrusive uses of rhyme she developed early in her career are essential to the poised combination of control and spontaneity with which her poems conduct their urbanely informal discourses. The philosophical optimism of much of her writing is enacted in the exuberance and precision of her descriptive imagery. Among her other works are her verse translations of The Fables of La Fontaine (1954). Her critical writings, which include the essays on her favourite writers in Predilections (1955), are collected in Complete Prose (1986).
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