Marianne Moore: Poetry

September 5, 2010

“Dock Rats” and Battleships

Filed under: Marianne Moore — by moore123 @ 3:03 pm
Tags: ,

John Warner Moore sailed on this ship as a Navy chaplain. See PAGE for the story of his career.

U.S.S. Mississippi (B-41)

The USS Mississippi in the Hudson River, 1919, after the U. S. Navy battleship won a race up the Atlantic Coast against other ships in its squadron.


  1. You’d think with all his sister’s talent, he’d have had some literary talent, too.

    Like the James Family.

    I’ve only seen a few letters, and a few pieces of sermons. They seem quite good.

    The mother apparently could write well, too.

    Comment by Kirby Olson — September 29, 2010 @ 5:08 pm |Reply

  2. I knew he served in the Pacific, but not how high he had risen. I also knew he was buried at Arlington.

    I wish we had a complete volume of his correspondence with his sister. I think that there we would get at the inner truth of who she was, in her most relaxed relationship.

    Comment by Kirby Olson — September 7, 2010 @ 5:38 pm |Reply

    • The volume of letters between siblings would interest scholars but I think it would not fly with most presses. MM’s letters to him, and selected letters from him to her, would be wonderful. A great many issues are raised in Mrs. Moore’s letters as well. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if it could all go on the internet?

      Comment by moore123 — September 20, 2010 @ 8:53 pm |Reply

      • Yes, that would be wonderful. I think it would be a hard sell for a commercial or even a university press. But without the information we need on that front, we’ll never really understand Ms. Moore. It’s only in that one relationship that we can completely see her Protestant side. She hides it from everyone else (except her mom, no doubt, but since she’s living with her mom, there are no letters, or not many).

        Is there any interest in the Presbyterians for such a volume? Was he a good enough sermon writer to be of interest for his own sake on that side?

        I think the unusual gender-bending in the letters would also be of interest to a certain sort of critic.

        Comment by Kirby Olson — September 28, 2010 @ 5:49 pm

      • I do not know whether many sermons survive. He usually sent summaries of lists of ideas in his letters. His family may have more. The sermons, chiefly aimed at military men, would tend to be a bit one-sided for general interest.

        Comment by moore123 — October 5, 2010 @ 12:02 pm

  3. Is this the ship that John Warner served on? I couldn’t figure its relevance to Moore.

    Comment by Kirby Olson — September 7, 2010 @ 1:08 pm |Reply

    • Yes it is! There’s much more to come, more ships, etc. I’ve learned that Warner had a REALLY distinguished naval career, rising to the highest rank for a chaplain (a captain with four bars) and ultimately serving as the chaplain to the Pacific Fleet during WWII. He’s buried at Arlington.

      Comment by moore123 — September 7, 2010 @ 1:37 pm |Reply

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