Marianne Moore: Poetry

Recent Articles on Moore


Kirby Olson has published “Marianne Moore and the Poetics of the Protestant Work Ethic” in the Montreal Review.  It is a study of Moore and economics issues, an insertion of “an alternative economic history into the sociology of poetics.”

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Elizabeth Gregory on “The Camperdown Elm”

“’Still Leafing’: Celebrity, Confession, Marianne Moore’s ‘The Camperdown Elm,’ and the Scandal of Age,” Journal of Modern Literature 35.3 (Spring 2012), 51-76.

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Kirby Olson on “The Camperdown Elm and the Revival of Brooklyn’s Prospect Park.”
<a href=”” rel=”nofollow”>Kirby Olson: Marianne Moore’s “The Camperdown Elm” and The Revival of Brooklyn’s Prospect Park

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Jeffrey Kindley, who as a college freshman dared to approach Moore for her opinion of his poetry, describes his friendship with the poet: “My Dinner with Marianne” in the Los Angeles Review of Books.

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Tara Stubbs, whose Oxford 2008 thesis should soon become a monograph, has published a “summary article,” as she terms it,  for the Irish Journal of American Studies, entitled ‘Irish by descent? Marianne Moore’s American-Irish inheritance. It is available at:

Below is the abstract of  her thesis from Oxford Research Archive:

Title: ‘Irish by descent’: Marianne Moore, Irish writers and the American-Irish Inheritance’

Abstract: Despite having a rather weak family connection to Ireland, the American modernist poet Marianne Moore (1887-1972) described herself in a letter to Ezra Pound in 1919 as ‘Irish by descent’. This thesis relates Moore’s claim of Irish descent to her career as a publisher, poet and playwright, and argues that her decision to shape an Irish inheritance for herself was linked with her self-identification as an American poet. Chapter 1 discusses Moore’s self-confessed susceptibility to ‘Irish magic’ in relation to the increase in contributions from Irish writers during her editorship of The Dial magazine from 1925 to 1929. Moore’s 1915 poems to the Irish writers George Moore, W. B. Yeats and George Bernard Shaw, which reveal a paradoxical desire for affiliation to, and disassociation from, Irish literary traditions, are scrutinized in Chapter 2. Chapters 3a and b discuss Moore’s ‘Irish’ poems ‘Sojourn in the Whale’ (1917) and ‘Spenser’s Ireland’ (1941). In both poems political events in Ireland – the ‘Easter Rising’ of 1916 and Ireland’s policy of neutrality during World War II – become a backdrop for Moore’s personal anxieties as an American poet of ‘Irish’ descent coming to terms with her political and cultural inheritance. Expanding upon previous chapters’ discussion of the interrelation of poetics and politics, Chapter 4 shows how Moore’s use of Irish sources in ‘Spenser’s Ireland’ and other poems including ‘Silence’ and the ‘Student’ reflects her quixotic attitude to Irish culture as alternately an inspiration and a tool for manipulation. The final chapter discusses Moore’s adaptation of the Anglo-Irish novelist Maria Edgeworth’s 1812 novel The Absentee as a play in 1954. Through this last piece of ‘Irish’ writing, Moore adopts a sentimentality that befits the later stages of her career and illustrates how Irish literature, rather than Irish politics, has emerged as her ultimate source of inspiration.

This statement and details about the thesis are available at:


  1. Hi Patricia, I just published a new article entitled Marianne Moore and the Poetics of the Protestant Work Ethic. It challenges various notions that she was either a socialist or just didn’t know anything at all about economics and was an idiot compared to Kenneth Burke, or Ezra Pound. She knew plenty and was twice as smart as the two of them combined.

    I invented a new kind of criticism that is meant to be an alternative to Marxist cultural criticism. It’s a kind of free-market cultural criticism. The first salvo is here in Montreal Review:

    It’s my first attempt to insert an alternative economic history into the sociology of poetics.

    I hope all is well for you. This piece is entitled Marianne Moore and the Poetics of the Protestant Work Ethic.

    Comment by kirbyolson2 — September 4, 2013 @ 4:14 pm |Reply

  2. How fine! I’ll take a look at the page.

    Comment by moore123 — August 27, 2011 @ 3:08 pm |Reply

  3. The article has been linked at the Prospect Park Facebook page, and a few other places, too. Thanks so much for this.

    Comment by Kirby Olson — August 26, 2011 @ 9:55 pm |Reply

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