Poem Sampler

From the Archive: Marianne Moore

The first poems by this Modernist poet to be published in Poetry magazine.

by The Editors
"You make me think of many men
Once met, to be forgot again"
—from "To an Intra-Mural Rat," by Marianne Moore, Poetry, May 1915

In May 1915, Marianne Moore made her first appearance in Poetry. Then twenty-seven-years old, Moore had been teaching for several years after having graduated from Bryn Mawr College, where she enjoyed some success in the campus literary magazines. But it was in Poetry's pages that Moore made her professional American journal debut, her poems appearing alongside those of fellow Modernist William Carlos Williams.

The second time Moore submitted poems to the magazine, Harriet Monroe rejected them. A rather aggrieved Moore fired back, "Printed slips are enigmatic things and I thank you for your criticism on my poems. I shall try to profit by it." Within a year tempers had cooled and the two women began to forge a professional friendship, with Moore contributing a handful of reviews to the magazine. Still, it would be sixteen years before she would again submit poems to Poetry. In 1932 she endeavored to appear in the magazine one final time, amid speculation that the 20th anniversary issue may indeed be Poetry's last. Those poems were published in June of that year, the 20th Anniversary came and went, and Poetry persevered. In total, Moore's poems appeared in the magazine on ten occasions, between that first appearance in May 1915, and her last, in October 1972, nine months after her death at the age of eighty-four.


Originally Published: May 1, 2007


On September 5, 2010 at 2:23pm Patricia C. Willis wrote:
Dear Poetry,

Congratulations on this fine presentation for Marianne Moore. Poetry Magazine was so important to her and brought forth some of her best work ("The Steeple-Jack," "The Hero" both 1933) and her earliest work (1915). A 1918 letter to Monroe, in the archive at the University of Chicago, began my career. Retired now, I share what I've learned through a blog dedicated to her work: http://www.moore123.wordpress.com. It is my hope that the blog will foster dialogue.


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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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