Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
Even after her poems had been published and critically acclaimed, Marianne Moore continued to revise them; sometimes she rejected them altogether. Between her first book, Poems (1921), and her last, The Complete Poems of Marianne Moore (1967, 1981), she published several other volumes of poetry. Typically, a new book was made up of substantially revised poems from the previous book together with a number of previously uncollected poems. Collected Poems (1951), for example, begins with most of the poems from Selected Poems (1935), which in turn contains many of the poems from Observations (1924). Collected Poems also contains all but four poems from What Are Years (1941), a volume of previously uncollected work, and the six new poems from Nevertheless (1944), to which Moore added nine new titles “Hitherto Uncollected.”
The Complete Poems of Marianne Moore, which claims to be the “Definitive Edition, with the Author’s Final Revisions,” contains a section headed “Collected Poems (1951).” This section omits the poem “Melanchthon” from the 1951 publication but contains two poems from Observations, “The Student” and “To a Prize Bird,” which were originally omitted from Collected Poems; these poems were subsequently revised for The Complete Poems of Marianne Moore.
Confusing as all this seems, it is necessary for...
(The entire section is 1752 words.)
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