Marianne Moore: Poetry

December 9, 2010

“New York” Albino Deer

Filed under: Marianne Moore,Poem Sources — by moore123 @ 4:17 pm
Tags: , ,

George Shiras Photo

“deer skins–white with white spots

‘as satin needlework in a single color may carry a varied pattern'”

“New York,” l. 6,

First published in The Dial 71 (December 1921) 637.

In her note when this poem appeared in Observations, Moore offered a long quotation from an article by George Shiras in The Literary Digest. The article discussed Shiras’s experience of albino deer on Grand Island, off the Michigan shore of Lake Superior. It was Shiras who described the fawn’s coat as looking like satin needlework. The Shiras piece originally appeared in The National Geographic for August, 1921, and it is from that issue that this photograph is taken. 

The black and white photographs cannot do justice to the white-on-white coat, better seen in a contemporary color photograph by Michael Crowley. The fawn to the right gives a sense of the lightly shaded coloration. Click on the photograph to enlarge it.


  1. There are also albino deer that live on the now deserted army depot outside of Waterloo/Geneva, New York. They can still be spied from the road, wandering through tall stalks of grass. Would MM have ever had occasion to see them there?

    Comment by Bruce Henderson — May 6, 2011 @ 1:37 am |Reply

    • Moore’s inlaws had a summer place in upstate New York but I do not recall where. My books are not yet unpacked but when they are, I’ll take a look. I know MM visited there occasionally.

      Comment by moore123 — May 6, 2011 @ 1:01 pm |Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: