(K. Brent Tomer),
New Collected Poems. By Marianne Moore. Edited by Heather Cass White. Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 480 pages; $30. Faber & Faber; £30.
MARIANNE MOORE, who died in 1972, was one of the defining voices of American Modernism, but she always made life difficult for her admirers. There have been several versions of her collected or complete poems, but none has quite done her justice. Until now. Why? Because she was always fiddling with her own work, rewriting it, or leaving poems out altogether. As she aged, she tended to make light of her early work, or resketch it completely. Occasionally, these meddlings—these wasplike buzzings about—could be injudicious. Moore was not the best custodian of her own work. At last, a complete collection—variants and all—of her writings, from first to last, has been chronologically ordered.
Moore was born in Missouri in 1887, but by 1918 had settled in New York with her mother. And there she stayed. She would…Continue reading