The Savage's Romance: The Poetry of Marianne Moore

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9780271004259: The Savage's Romance: The Poetry of Marianne Moore
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Concentrating on the work Marianne Moore produced during the first two decades of her long career (1915-36), John Slatin's closey documented account of Moore's poetic development affords a radically new sense of Moore's concerns and of her stature as a poet, countering the usual image of Moore as a charming eccentric whose work is unrelated to that of any other poet. Virtually everything Moore wrote responds in some way to the profound sense of isolation at the core of her sense of self, sometimes embracing isolation, more often seeking desperately to overcome it. The young Moore was fiercely ambitious, stubbornly determined to make a place for herself within the literary community of her day. The Savage's Romance describes how she went about doing that and shoes the consequences of her success. Placing her beside Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, William Carlos Williams, and Wallace Stevens as one of the major poetic figures of her generation, Slatin demonstrates that Moore's work is neither as opaque nor as impervious to the work of other writers as she likes to pretend, and shoes how her poetic identity emerges from her increasingly complex efforts to come to terms with the creative power of her contemporaries. Describing Moore's increasing involvement in what Eliot calls the 'great labour' of furnishing herself with a tradition of Emerson and Thoreau and Hawthorne, thus revealing her to be what she herself called Henry James: a 'Characteristic American.' The concern of this book is with the power of her poems, singly and collectively, to engage and persuade not just our own belated attention but the attention of her contemporaries as well.

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John M. Slatin teaches English at the University of Texas at Austin.

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John Slatin
Published by Pennsylvania State Univ Pr (1986)
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