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Marianne Moore

(November 15, 1887 – February 5, 1972 / Kirkwood, Missouri)

Quotations

  • ''I see no reason for calling my work poetry except that there is no other category in which to put it.''
    Marianne Moore (1887-1972), U.S. poet. Quoted in New York Mirror (May 31, 1959). On accepting the National Book Award for poetry.
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  • ''When one cannot appraise out of one's own experience, the temptation to blunder is minimized, but even when one can, appraisal seems chiefly useful as appraisal of the appraiser.''
    Marianne Moore (1887-1972), U.S. poet. repr. In Complete Prose (1987). "Comment," Dial, no. 85 (New York, Oct. 1928).
  • ''Egotism is usually subversive of sagacity.''
    Marianne Moore (1887-1972), U.S. poet. repr. In Complete Prose (1987). "Comment," Dial, no. 82 (New York, March 1927).
  • ''Poetry, that is to say the poetic, is a primal necessity.''
    Marianne Moore (1887-1972), U.S. poet. first published in Dial, no. 81 (New York, Aug. 1926). "Comment," Complete Prose (1987).
  • ''War is pillage versus resistance and if illusions of magnitude could be transmuted into ideals of magnanimity, peace might be realized.''
    Marianne Moore (1887-1972), U.S. poet. repr. In Complete Prose (1987). "Comment," no. 86, Dial (New York, April 1929).
  • ''A writer is unfair to himself when he is unable to be hard on himself.''
    Marianne Moore (1887-1972), U.S. poet. Interview in Writers at Work, Second Series, ed. George Plimpton (1963).

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The Pangolin

Another armored animal–scale
lapping scale with spruce-cone regularity until they
form the uninterrupted central
tail row! This near artichoke with head and legs and
grit-equipped gizzard,
the night miniature artist engineer is,
yes, Leonardo da Vinci’s replica–
impressive animal and toiler of whom we seldom hear.
Armor seems extra. But for him,

[Hata Bildir]