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Poetry Essay

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In the following excerpt, Birkerts looks into the craft of Moore's poetry and the differences between her two versions of "Poetry."

Marianne Moore's decision to cut her wellknown anthology piece "Poetry" down to an unremarkable three-liner bearing the same title has baffled readers and critics alike. Such a histrionic, exhibitionistic gesture—like a woman taking scissors and roughly shearing off an admired head of hair. (No sexism intended here—I'm referring to a celluloid archetype.) Clearly it was an act of some kind of loathing, a deed perpetrated against the self. My guess is that Moore wished to inflict a symbolic injury upon a sensibility that could produce poetry only of a certain kind. Never mind that it was a poetry that had won for her a near-universal adulation. It was as if she knew in her heart wherein lay the real soul of poetry—in the genuine...

(read more from the Critical Essay #3 section)

This section contains 2,711 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Poetry Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Poetry from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.