Marianne Moore: Poetry

January 6, 2011

“Sea Unicorns” and Leigh Hunt

Filed under: Marianne Moore,Poem Sources — by moore123 @ 2:12 pm
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In Observations (1924), Moore offers a note to her phrase “deriving agreeable terror.”

Leigh Hunt (1784-1859)


and she cites Leigh Hunt.  Wherever Hunt originally published his comments, probably in a magazine, they were repeated frequently, most often by Sir John Lubbock in a chapter on the pleasure of reading called “A Song of Books.” The extended reference follows:

“The lover of reading,” says Leigh Hunt, ” will derive agreeable terror from Sir Bertram and the Haunted Chamber; will assent with delighted reason to every sentence in Mrs. Barbauld’s Essay; will feel himself wandering into solitudes with Gray; shake honest hands with Sir Roger de Coverley; be ready to embrace Parson Adams, and to chuck Pounce out of the window instead of the hat; will travel with Marco Polo and Mungo Park; stay at home with Thomson; retire with Cowley; be industrious with Hutton; sympathizing with Gay and Mrs. Inchbald; laughing with (and at) Buncle; melancholy, and forlorn, and self-restored with the shipwrecked mariner of De Foe.”

–in Sir John Lubbock, The Pleasures of Life Complete (Philadelphia: Henry Altemus, 1894), pp. 39-40.

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