Marianne Moore

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

Marianne Moore Quotes

  • ''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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No Swan So Fine

"No water so still as the
dead fountains of Versailles." No swan,
with swart blind look askance
and gondoliering legs, so fine
as the chinz china one with fawn-
brown eyes and toothed gold
collar on to show whose bird it was.

Lodged in the Louis Fifteenth

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