Support

Support Options

Submit a Support Ticket

Help!

Home / Editions and Resources / Newsletters / Marianne Moore Newsletter - Volume 7 Spring and Fall 1983

Marianne Moore Newsletter - Volume 7 Spring and Fall 1983

Marianne Moore Newsletter

Volume VII Spring & Fall 1983

MARIANNE MOORE NEWSLETTER

Volume VII, Numbers 1 & 2, 1983 SPECIAL DOUBLE ISSUE

COVER ILLUSTRATION

Great Anteater, Myrmecophaga tridactyla Linnaeus, drawn by Marianne Moore, December 9, 1932.

All previously unpublished material by Marianne Moore is published here by permission of Clive E. Driver, Literary Executor of the Estate of Marianne C. Moore.

Subscription: Two issues a year, Spring and Pall. U.S.A.: $4.00 a year; Foreign $4.50 Subscriptions run for calendar year in which placed. Automatic renewal and billing available. Back issues available as issued at $3.50 except Volume I, Number 1 available in photocopy only. Please make cheques payable to the Rosenbach Museum & Library.

Contributions welcome on all aspects of MM and her work up to 1,000 words. Deadlines:    Spring, February 1st;

Fall, October 1st.

Address correspondence to Patricia C. Willis, Editor, MMN, The Rosenbach Museum & Library, 2010 DeLancey Place, Philadelphia, PA 19103.

Copyright © 1984 by Clive E. Driver Literary Executor of the Estate of Marianne C. Moore

ISSN 0145-8779

Marianne Moore Newsletter

t

 

Volume VII Spring & Fall 1983

 

COMMENT

The 19803 is the decade of the modernist poets. Most of them were born in the 1880's, and their readers are intent on celebrating their centennials. The celebrations vary but they are all concerned with a fond examination of the poets’ works and lives.

1983 was William Carlos Williams's year. Among the commemorative events were a four-day conference at the University of Maine (Orono); a series of programs at the new William Carlos williams Center at Rutherford, N.J., the poet's home town; an afternoon of talks and readings at the School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania; and many presentations at the annual MLA meeting in New York. And libraries holding major collections of Williams's papers participated by mounting exhibitions.

The Rosenbach Museum & Library in Philadephia opened an exhibition a few days before the poet's birthday in September. The Marianne Moore Collection at the Rosenbach holds all of Williams's letters to Moore, except for those of The Dial years, 1925-1929, a nearly complete set of first editions, most inscribed, a host of little magazines in which Williams's work appeared and was annotated by Moore, as well as clippings and photographs. No catalogue was contemplated for this exhibition, in part because {with one exception) all the materials are a permanent part of the collection and can be seen at any time. But there was so much interest in what the exhibition brought to light about the relationship between Williams and Moore that it seemed fitting to translate the labels into an issue of MMN.

It has long been known that Williams and Marianne Moore knew one another for many years. Each poet wrote about the other in serious essays, and those commentaries have been the staple guides to their opinions about one another's work,:- But what had not been fully documented was the lifelong scrutiny each applied, the careful

reading of each new book followed by expressions of delight, concern, and sometimes dislike, Williams held Moore in high esteem, both as a writer and person of moral strength. His memory of her, in his Autobiography, as "our saint” greatly enhanced by words he wrote to her directly, suggests his generous exaltation. Occasionally he found her "bewildering," and easily offended by his salty speech, but no matter: "She has never disappointed me." Moore greatly admired Williams's "abandon born of inner security," an observation he found "overwhelmingly important." She saw and apreciated what Williams was trying to achieve in his effort to tap the American language and spirit at the root and to express his findings in new ways. She measured his success against his own goals, holding back only when they directly contradicted hers, namely at the point of '"everyday1 images . . . too everyday to be condoned." But she repeatedly spoke of herself as strengthened, helped, and impressed by his work, and grateful for his serious attention to hers.

From the beginning of their acquaintance, the two poets sought to help one another find an audience. Williams requested poems from her when he edited Others and Contact. He begged her to let him publish a book for her with Contact Editions and he rewiewed her work and reprinted his reviews in collections of his essays. Moore followed Williams's career closely. As editor of The Dial, she published the bulk of his poems written during those years and was instrumental in securing the magazine^ annual award for him. In the mid-1930s, before Williams had found his champion publisher in James Laughlin at New Directions, she was concerned that his books, published by small presses, were not reaching enough readers, and she took on the task of reviewing Adam £ Eve the Ci ty to fan what flames she could. She never hesitated to contribute statements about his wotlt in various special magazine issues or tributes. And Williams did the same for her.

What can be seen from an overview of the papers linking Williams and Moore is an enduring concern and a friendship that outweighed every difference between the

poets. They were refreshingly candid with each other, each with a zest for probing, seeking the best of each other's work. Upon reading Williams's praise of her in his autobiography, Marianne Moore summed up: "I have never disappointed you7 There we have a dialectical nut to crack."

The exhibition opened at the Rosenbach Museum & Library on September 14, 1983. Drawn from the Marianne Moore Collection at the Rosenbach, the exhibition contained the two poets' letters to each other, books sent by Williams to Moore, most of them inscribed, her annotated copies of little magazines containing his writings, and photographs. Dr. William Eric Williams loaned photographs of his father, and Mr. Paul H. Williams contributed the history of "Burning the Christmas Greens," written about an event in his boyhood. Dr. Emily Mitchell Wallace loaned a very rare copy of Contact. The other items had all belonged to Marianne Moore.

This issue of MHN will serve as a catalogue of the exhibition, as a record of part—but necessarily not all—of the books and personal papers exchanged by the two poets. Other materials consulted are in the William Carlos Williams and the Dial Collections at the Beinecke Library, Yale University, and the poetry Collection at SONY, Buffalo.

Photographs of William Carlos Williams and Florence Williams, courtesy of Dr. William Eric Williams.

Previously unpublished excerpts from William Carlos Williams' letters to Marianne Moore, Copyright© 1984 by William Eric Williams and Paul H. Williams; used by permission of New Directions Publishing Corp., agents.

Previously unpublished excerpts from Florence Williams' letter to Marianne Moore and Helene H. Williams' letter to Mary Warner Moore, Copyright©

1984 by William Eric Williams and Paul H. Williams.

OBSERVATIONS

ARS MBDICA ET POETICA:

WILLIAM CARLOS WILLIAMS AND MARIANNE MOORE

William Carlos Williams and Marianne Moore shared a literary friendship for almost 50 years. They met as young poets about 1916; they reviewed one another's books and served as each other's editors. Although as poets they did not belong to a single "school," their work shared a devotion to the particular, to the thing itself—Williams's "no ideas but in things."

Both poets drew on wide classical and contemporary reading and on refined observations of the world around them, williams trained his eye on the people among whom he: lived and practiced medicine and on his surroundings, from rural landscapes to New York. Moore gleaned images from research in natural history and felt that even "business documents and school-books" could be matter for poetry. For both Williams and Moore, the arts of science and poetry were pursued in tandem and resulted in startling American modernist achievement.

William Carlos williams (1883-1963) was born in Rutherford, New Jersey, the son of an English businessman and a Puerto Rican artist. He attended Horace Mann School in New York and graduated in 1906 from the School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania. After further training in pediatrics in New York and Leipzig, he established his practice in Rutherford and in 1912, married Florence Herman, the celebrated "Flossie" of his poems and dedications.

while working full time as a physician, williams produced 48 books of poetry, fiction, essays, plays, and "improvisations." He contributed to 90 other books and more than 600 periodicals. He won all the prestigious American literary awards. Ezra Pound, his college friend, said that in the poetry of williams there is

■the absolute conviction of a man with his feet on the soil/ on a soil personally and peculiarly his own. He is rooted. He is at times almost inarticulate, . . . but he is never dry, never without sap in abundance." Marianne Moore said: "Doctor Williams is in his manner of contemplating with new eyes, old things, shabby things, and other things, a poet."

Marianne Moore (1887-1972) was raised in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 1909 with a major in history and a minor in biology. Her poetry was first professionally published in 1915 in Poetry, in an issue in which she and Williams each had five poems, after moving to New York in 1918, she worked part time as a librarian and became editor of

 

EiRl from 1925 until its demise in 1929. Under her editorship, Williams received The Dial Award for service to literature, marked by the appearance of the first "Paterson."

 

Moore’s unique syllabic meter and her precision of image showed what Williams ca11ed"deftness and an inclination to dance as well as a dance accomplished among the words" in poems written with "the keenest of

Although the two writers often locked horns over language and subject-matter, Williams paid tribute in his characteristic voice:

Marianne Moore, at home with her typewriter, in Carlisle, Pa, circa 1911.

 

Who was she? Nuts to you. Though the vulgarity of such a phrase must have offended her then and must continue to offend her to her death. She has no patience with me when I use such terms and is not backward in saying so.

 

Meanwhile I love her and have always loved her through her convolute wrestlings with the words, gaining and failing, to the end. She has never disappointed me.

"Root Buds." Five poems by William Carlos williams. "Pouters and Fantails." Five poems by Marianne Moore, Poetry, May 1915.

William Carlos Williams and Marianne Moore met first in print. This issue represents Marianne Moore's first appearance in an American little magazine and Williams's first chance to see her work.

Williams's "Slow Movement" was written for his "dear friend" Ezra Pound, who is also represented in this issue by his essay "The Renaissance," a discussion of the new poetry.

The magazine Others was founded in 1915 by Alfred Kreymborg, poet, ed Itor, and anthologist, who asked Williams to edit the July 1916 issue.

On May 9, 1916, Williams wrote his first letter to Marianne Moore to request a poem for his issue: "some one thing that [you are] willing to stand to." She sent him "Critics and Connoisseurs." Delighted with the poem, Williams replied on May 18th: "It is odd that this poem should fit the very purpose I would wish it to serve so perfectly: to plead for careful thought, for a precise technique - the better to ensnare the intangible. . . . You are about the only one who sees any use in using his brain. Williams's own contribution was "Drink."

VOL VI Price 15 cents NO. 11

 

 

Igoetru,

 

 

 

JMIaaazine offers?

J&ited bj ijarrifi Jlxonroe

MAY 1915

Dry Points .... Joseph Warren Beach Rne Bonaparte—The View at Gunderson's—

The Masseur—The Point of View—Jenny’s Dancing—Cave Talk.

Root Buds . . . William Carlos Williams The Shadow—Metric Figure—Sub Terra-Slow Movement—A Confidence.

Apologia.........Floyd Dell

Songs........Clara Shanafelt

Invocation—A Vivid Girl—Provincial.

Pouter* and Fantails . . Marianne Moore

Three Poems......Horace Holley

Creative—Twilight at Versailles—Lovers.

A Spring Song.....Mabel D. Carry

Lilacs—A Village Church . Louise Driscoll

The World Cry......Mary Aldis

Nightfall.......Maurice Browne

Voyages I-IV.....Douglas Goldring

Comments and Reviews

Give Him Room—The Renaissance: III—

Praise from Mr. Colum—Reviews.

Our Contemporaries—Correspondence—Notes

543 Cass Street. Chicago

Copyright 1915 by Harriot Monro*. All rights reserved.

 

✓Annual JJubsrrfpifon

 

11 □.

Others: An Anthology of the New Verse. New York; Alfred A. Knopf, 1916.

Others: An Anthology of the New Verse. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1917.

Others for 1919: An Anthology of the New Verse. New York: Nicholas Brown, 1920.

For his anthologies, Alfred Kreymborg collected poems printed in his magazine. Others, as well as unpublished work. Among Williams's first appearances in these volumes is his group of eight flower poems, including the well-known "Queen Anne's Lace" in the last collection.

The "Others" were not a school but a motley group of poets who felt themselves "other" than Poetry's stable of writers. In addition to Williams, Moore, and Kreymborg, contributors included Ezra Pound, Conrad Aiken, Mina Loy, Wallace Stevens, T. S. Eliot, Maxwell Bodenheim, and Lola Ridge. One whole issue was given over to Williams’s translations of Spanish verse. The last issue, July 1919, was prepared by Wi11iams and dedicated to Emmanuel Carnevali, a young poet who was close to death from a nervous disorder, and whom Williams championed in his essay "GloriaJ" which opens the issue. Others, he says there, "has been blasted out of existence, we must have a new conception from the bottom up or I will not touch it."

Williams ends the issue with his "Belly Music," a taking to task of a dozen other magazines for "the stupidity of the critics writing in this country about poetry today," the "sullen backbiting of A[liceJ C[orbin] H[endersonJ as if sand had gone to her head" and the "ginger pop" criticism of Amy Lowell [in Poetry]. For the opening poem, he chooses Marianne Moore's "Poetry" which he calls "peculiarly suited to the tone of the . . . issue." The poem begins "Poetry, I, too, dislike it" and catalogues "the genuine," the requirements needed by those who are "interested in poetry." Indeed, its concerns are much like those of Willisms in "Belly Music," though given in a quieter voice.

A1 Que Quiere! Boston: The Four Seasons Company, 1917.

On February 21, 1917, Williams wrote to Moore that he needed advice concerning the title of his new book of poems. "A1 Que Quierel"—to him who wants it—he finds not democratic enough and would like to add: "or, The Pleasures of Democracy." He tells of his dilemma: "Now I like this conglomerate title! It is nearly a perfect image of my own grinning mug (seen from the inside) but my publisher objects. . . . Help me O leading light of the Sex of the Future."

Marianne Moore replied that she preferred his longer title but that her mother, so often consulted in these matters, liked the Spanish alone because readers "will be more attracted by something elusive than by something bald." Mrs. Moore’s choice carried the day, although the suggested subtitle was used on the dust-jacket. One might guess that the phrase, "A1 Que Quiere" was used by Williams's own mother, whose native tongue was Spanish.

Of the design on the front cover, Williams said: "The figure on the cover was taken from a design on a pebble. To me the design looked like a dancer, and the effect of the dancer was very important—a natural, completely individual pattern. The artist made the outline around the design too geometrical; it should have been irregular, as the pebble was."

On the following two pages are actual-size facsimiles of the dustjacket and the front cover of A1 Que Quiere!, taken from Marianne Moore's much used copy.

The Tempers. London: Elkin Mathews, 1913.

Williams gave Moore a copy of this, his second book, in early 1917. Her note of thanks said: "Your compression makes one feel that the Japanese haven’t the field to themselves." "Hie Jacet," the poem about "the coroner’s merry little children," suggests the poet as practicing physician.

n

To    IT bom    It

May Concern!

i'T'HlS book is a collection of poems by William Carlos "Williams. You, gentle reader, will probably not like it, because it is brutally powerful and scornfully crude. Fortunately, neither the author nor the publishers care much whether you like it or not. The author has done his work, and if you do read the book you will agree that he doesn’t give a damn for your opinion. His opinion of you is more important than your opinion of him. And we, the publishers, don’t much care whether you buy the book or not. It only costs a dollar, so tha~ we can't make much profit out of it. But we have the satisfaction of offering that which will outweigh, in spite of its eighty small pages, a doien volumes of pretty ■ lyrics. We have the profound satisfaction of publishing a book in which, we venture to predict, the poets of the future will dig for material as the poets of today dig in Whitman's Leaves of Grass.

A BOOK OF POEMS

ALQUEQUIERE!

By WILLIAM CARLOS WILUAMS

A BOOK OF POEMS

AL QUE QUIERE!

WILLIAM CARLOS WILLIAMS

Kora jn Hell: Improvisations. Boston: The Four Seas Company, 1920. Inscribed "with appreciation and best wishes from W. C. Williams, Sept 4, 1920."

While IQ Que Quierel was still in proof in 1917, Williams wrote to Marianne Moore: "I am thinking of writing a little prose book in eight or ten short crisp chapters, the book being 'The Scheme of Heaven' and being a practical guide for simple mortals through the woods of philosophy and religion and science and art and crime and saintliness in which there are so many woodcutters." while Kora in Hell is not precisely that guide, it is a prose work that touches on most of those subjects. It is divided into units of one or more "improvisations"—dream-logic expressions of thought and experience—each followed by a reflection,

Marianne Moore reviewed Kora in Hel1 in contact in 1921 saying in part: "Compression, color, speed, accuracy and that restraining of instinctive craftsmanship which precludes anything dowdy or labored—it is essentially these qualities that we have in his work." The review evoked from Williams the following comment: "You make my blood flow in my smallest capillaries again by what you say of my book. I feel even that ray brain, somewhat dull of late. Is getting fed quite as amply as my skin. Such is the miracle of a friend's good words. . . . You make me feel again as if I wanted to put some words on paper

The design on the front cover of the book, shown on the following page, was described by Williams in wanted to Write a Poem:

It represents the ovum in the act of being impregnated, surrounded by spermatazoa, all trying to get in but only one successful. I myself improvised the ides, seeing, symbolically, a design using sperms of varius breeds, various races let's say, and directed the artist to vary the shadings of the drawing from white to gray to black. The cell accepts one sperm—that is the beginning of lige. I was feeling fresh and I thought it was a beautiful idea and I wanted the world to see it.

DESCENDANTS, PERHAPS, OP THE HARLEM GOATS, WHICH WENT WEST; KIDS AND THEIR PARENT, TH« Dr. ter Providing a Substitute for Alpine Heights in a Back Lot in Sso Diego, Cal.

„ '“7 r '2Zina«M ww#

-    World

Marianne Moore’s copy of the book, annotated and much used, contains a clipping pasted over the half-title. It pictures a goat with a small kid standing on its back and a larger kid trying to climb up. Among the many goats in Williams’s work which Moore admired, the one described in the story "The Accident" (in Contact in 1922) who said "Gna-ha-ha-ha-ha 1 (as in hat)” was the one she often quoted and is perhaps commemorated by this clipping.

16


Fronticepiece drawing by Stuart Davis for Kora in Hell. Williams reported: "I wanted it reproduced in my book because it was as close as possible to my idea of the Improvisations."

Contact. New York. December 1920 to June 1923.

Williams and Robert McAlmon collaborated on this magazine which ran for five issues. Marianne Moore appears in four issues as the subject of Williams's critical statements and a poem, and as the author of a long review of Kora in Hell. In Number 1, December 1920, williams writes:

Marianne Moore

Will not some dozen sacks of rags observant of intelligence conspire from their outlandish cellar to evade the law?

Let them, stuffed up, appear before her door at ten some night and say: Marianne, save usl Put us in a book of yours.

Then she would ask the fellow in

and give him cake

and warm him with her talk

before he must return to the dark street.

In the second number of Contact, williams begins with a critical statement about poetic form, concluding:

We compliment ourselves upon publishing Marianne Moore, than whom no writer has more definitely established a form based on perceptivity, that individualized also achieves universality.

"Those Various Scalpels" follows. It is one of Marianne Moore’s highly controlled examples of syllabic rhymed verse.

Contact. Number 4, Summer 1921.

The "advertising number" sports imitation ads on its cover, unlike earlier issues, this one is typeset; it contains Marianne Moore's review of Kora in Hell.

BABBITT’S SOAP 1836    - 5f

HOKUSAI DIED -1049

Contact

READ /

CONTACT/

"AMERICA IS REVEALED IN ITS REPLIES TO MY

ARTICLES” Nujol

Standard OU Co. (New Jersey) 44 Beaver 51., NY. City.

25 * a copy * Advertising Number .

Williams gathered his poems written since A_1 Que QuiereI and dedicated them as "Sour Grapes" to Alfred Kreymborg who had blamed him for the demise of Others. He later wrote how he heard from all quarters: "'Sour Grapes, yes, that's regret. Sour Grapes — that’s what you are, and that’s what you amount to.1 But all I meant was that sour grapes are just the same shape as sweet ones: ha, ha, ha, hal" Among the poems is "The Figure Five" which inspired Charles Demuth's famous painting, "I Saw the Figure Five in Gold."

The front of the dustjacket appears in facsimile on the following page.

Spring and All. Paris. Contact Publishing Company, 1923.

In his seventh book, Williams combined improvisations and poems. "By the road to the contagious hospital," later called "Spring and All," is a hallmark example of the poet in the setting of a physician making his rounds. Williams's most famous poem, "The Red Wheelbarrow," made its first appearance here.

In a prose section, Williams muses upon the empty use of symbols by most writers, including himself. But, "Marianne Moore escapes. The incomprehensibility of her poems is a witness to at what cost (she cleaves herself away) as it is also to the distance which the most are from a comprehension of the purpose of composition."

The Contact Publishing Company grew out of Williams’s collaboration on the magazine of the same name with Robert McAlmon. The latter had married the wealthy Bryher, an English novelist, and moved to Paris where he published such writers as Pound, H. D., Gertrude Stein, and Hemingway. His printer for Spring and All was Maurice Daranti&re of Dijon who was, presumably, still recovering from printing Ulysses the previous year.

Sour Grapes

N

By

WILLIAM CARLOS WILLIAMS

A NEW BOOK OF POEMB BY THE AUTHOR OF "AL Ql’E QUIERE” ANI> "KORA IN HELL”

'T'HE surer and sounder hut not the less unusual handling of free verse by a contributor to the original Imaglst anthology and a later member of the so-called “Others” school, who has already made a distinct place for himself in contemporary poetry. Here is the same sharp kalfe cutting away old tissue and getting down to the living flesh; the same questioning of repressed emotions; the same devil-may-care naivetg arm in arm with a wistful wondering about beauty—Williams often meets himself in the middle of a poem and asks: “Who the devil ore you?” Said William Marion Reedy: “A hard, straight, bitter Javelin ... but there is a tang of very old sherry in him, to mellow the Irony. As you read him you begin to realize how little lioetry—or prose—depends on definitions, or precedents, or forms.”

The Great American Novel. Paris: Three Mountains Press, 1923.

This elegant production was the work of the press of William Byrd who collaborated with Ezra pound in publishing American writers abroad. Williams describes his subject as a little less elegant than the book itself: "a satire on the novel form in which a little (female) Ford car falls more or less in love with a Mack truck." Requested by Pound just after Williams had read Ulysses, the text has Joycean snippets from many literatures and daily observations, from Shakespeare to a meeting of the Mosquito Extermination Commission, from "the American background is American" to mention of a drug for "inflammation."

Letters from Europe, 1924.

Williams arranged to take a sabbatical from his medical practice from September 1923 to June 1924. He spent the fall months writing in New York and left, with Flossie, for France, Italy, and Austria in January.

Williams the physician and Williams the poet were competing for favor in his life, but Europe helped to sort things out:    "All values, he wrote to Marianne

Moore,

have grown simpler for me since I have hit Paris. .    . "It must be hard to stand and see the

beautiful birds of Paradise {like me) winging Southward each year over your ploughed and reploughed ten acre lot."

McAlmon and Williams wanted a book of Marianne Moore's poems for Contact Editions, and in each of four successive letters, williams makes his demand:    "St.

Mark's cathedral in Venice, have you seen it---is my

rich ideal of pelt and plumage—and you really should let us publish your book." And in another letter: " . . very least—unless you relent and let jis bring out a new book of yours." The venture came to nought and Marianne Moore was not "published in Paris."

William Carlos Williams in Venice, 1924,

On the back of this photograph, williams wrote: "The torpedo boat and I really add—don't we—to the view of Venice. My hat is bigger than the dome of st. Marks beside i t.”

f

 

In the American Grain. New York: Albert & Charles Roni. 1925.

 

Williams said he wrote In the American Grain because, with his mixed ancestry, "America is the only home I could ever possibly call my own. ... I must have a basis for orienting myself formally in the beliefs which activated me from day to day." His chapters focus on the characters who shaped American history from Eric the Red to Abraham Lincoln.

Marianne Moore read early chapters in manuscript and reviewed the book for The Dial. She wrote: "we wisely salute here the assembled phosphorescent findings of a search prosecuted 'w i th antennae extended* . . . We recognize a superbly poetic orificeria of meaning and of material."

"Struggle of Wings." The Dial. February 1926.

Scofield Thayer and Dr, J. Sibley Watson, Jr., inaugurated the 1920's most prestigious American journal of arts and letters in January 1920. In it, modern art appeared alongside modernist poetry and fiction. Charles Demuth and Mina Loy, both friends of Williams, contributed art, as did Picasso, Matisse, and Brancusi. Poetry and prose were the work of the whole list of modernist writers, including pound, Yeats, Eliot, Moore, Cummings, and Stevens. Williams published 30 poems, as well as stories and reviews, in The Dial.

Marianne Moore was editor from May 1925 until the magazine ceased publication in July 1929. Upon her taking office, Williams wrote: "Your critical Dial position frightened me for a moment." He goes on to say that he wants to send his work directly to her but that he will assume that it is never she but "The Dial" who rejects it.

Marianne Moore accepted "struggle of Wings" with reservations. She asked williams to delete the last two pages of manuscript and to substitute "besmirch" for "besmut" in the lines "Cloath him / richly, those who loath him / will besmirch him fast enough."

"Paterson," The Dial. February 1927.

In 1926. Williams received The Dial's award given annually for service to literature. "Paterson" marked the award and gave premonition of the later epic Paterson. In announcing the award, Marianne Moore said; We have said that Carlos Williams is a doctor. Physicians are not so often poets as poets are physicians but may we not assert confidently that oppositions of science are not oppositions to poetry but oppositions to falseness.

Her essay on Williams appeared in the March issue. Titled "Poet of the Quattrocento," it cites the poet's use of American subjects and language and lauds his powers of observation. Williams called her words "very

reassuring. Am I a quattrocento poet because I am over forty?” Moore replied, summing up her reference to his rootedness, like that of the fifteenth century Italian painters, in his native landscape: "A Quattrocento poet? Because of leaves, sap, roots."

"The Venus." The Dial. July 1928.

Marianne Moore accepted "verbatim" this story originally meant as a chapter of Voyage to Pagany, Williams's novel stimulated by his trip abroad in 1924. The hero, Dev Evans and Fraulein J are in Italy, en route to the Villa D'Este outside Rome. The German woman sets Dev the task of telling her about America. His country, he tells her, has many contradictory facets:

To me it is a hard, barren life, where I am "alone” and unmolested . . . [which] I enjoy for the seclusion and primitive air of it. But that is all—unless I must add an attraction in all the inanimate associations of my youth, shapes, foliage, trees to which I am used — and a love of p1 ace and the characteristics of place—good or bad, rich or poor.

Letter to Marianne Moore. June 2, 1932.

Marianne Moore published no poetry between 1925 and the June, 1932 issue of Poetry. Williams's letter is in response to his reading there "The Steeple-Jack," the first poem of her trilogy, "Part of a Novel, Part of a Poem, Part of a Play:"

There is no work being done . . . which I find more to my liking and which I believe to be so thoroughly excellent. You have everything that satisfies me. I omit the catalogue. No I won't. Your words have an immediate quality which only comes when the intelligence matches the acuteness of the sensual perception to which you add an aimed heat of the emotions.

Marianne Moore by Alice Boughton, circa 1928.

The Cod Head

Miscellaneous weed strands, stems, debris oscillate—

The Cod Head. San Francisco: Harvest Press, 1932.

A trip with Flossie to Labrador in the summer of 1931 provided williams with images from cod fishing for this poem, a model of observation fathom by fathom through the layers of the sea. Marianne Moore thanked Williams for a copy with another kind of model of observation:

What pleasurel and what luck to be able in this way to give the sense of the greyhound leaping out when all is at halfmast. "A lulling / / lift and fall," and "two / / green stones" could not be rivalled and the whole feel of the thing is perfect. The effigy of the cod under the title, is capital; so is the blue grotto effect of the paper.

In "Things Others Never Notice" in Poetry in May 1934, Marianne Moore reviewed Williams's Col1ected Poems, 1921-1931. She said: "With an abandon born of inner security. Dr. Williams somewhere nicknames his chains of incontrovertibly logical apparent non-seguiturs, rigmarole.” This observation triggered Williams's reply on May 2, 19 3 4:

The inner security though is an overwhelmingly important observation. ... It is something which occurred once when I was about twenty, a sudden resignation to existence, a despair. ... I resigned. I gave up. ... I won't follow causes. I can’t. The reason is that it seems so much more important to me that I am.

Raving brought up the subject, Marianne Moore remarks on it again in her letter of May 12th:

Inner security, authority, discipline, whatever one wishes to call it, is what makes the shots go home. I have felt a debt to your security and wished, however badly I might do it, to say something about your book.

Collected Poems, 1921-1931. With a preface by Wallace Stevens. New York: The Objectivist Press, 1934.

Williams told Marianne Moore that he planned to quote her on the jacket of this book. The great reviser, she would have changed the sentence but "no matter, so long as the verse is appearing. The sinewy character of it— getting even better in the recent pieces." When she saw the finished book, she responded with even stronger words:

The catnip that art is, or ignis fatuus, or drop on the cactus, does seem worth the martyrdom of pursuit, I feel. If the value is valuable enough to one, one achieves it. So—bless the collective wheelbarrow; with Wallace Stevens beside it like a Chinese beside a huge pair of oxen.

An Early Martyr and Other Poems. New York: The Alcestis Press, 1935.

When WiLliams sent Marianne Moore a copy of his book, She replied: "You are doing here what you seem to think Gertrude Stein is doing, in making words live. ITEM is for me one of the most consoling and eloquent things in existence; impressive indeed as springing not from the splinters of battle but from the heat of the mind."

22.

Letter to Marianne Moore. June 20, 1935.

Williams read Marianne Moore’s new Selected Poems and regretted "that I do not visit you. The restraining mechanism is that I really meet you in your work and that anything else would be futile; we should say nothing, do nothing, achieve nothing but a negation, possibly, by affection, of what we both would see living. ... Please pardon the assumption of a similarity in the success of our performances."

Williams goes on to say that he thought of taking her and composer Tibar Serley to a New York Giants game but that "perhaps the idea of a ballgame was accepted merely as a distraction to keep us from clawing each other. I do think I could talk to you with great pleasure for at least a week without stopping. . . ."

Marianne Moore, who, it should be noted, was a lifelong baseball fan and a champion conversationalist, answers with an invitation to visit her or "to go to the Metropolitan museum to see the animal rugs? ... The idea of foregoing visits as one becomes an older and older musketeer and needs them the more, is the apex of folly."

22a.

"A 1 Pound Stein." The Rocking-Horse, Spring 1935.

In this amusing message to "the pseudo-erudite, clever guys, the dumb clucks who haven't enough sense to know what it's all about,” Williams says that if he were

Professor of American, he would "push literature and in consequence our culture ahead at least twenty years" by lecturing on Ezra Pound and Gertrude Stein. Of their work, he singles out their 1934 publications: Pound's "Canto XXXVI" about Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren and Stein's Four Saints in Three Acts, an opera set to music by Virgil Thomson.

Marianne Moore. "A Vein of Anthracite." Brooklyn Daily Eagle. December 20, 1936, C-16.

Adam & Eve and the City (New York: Alcestis Press 1936) so enthralled Marianne Moore that she sent a review of it to The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, along with a copy of a new Williams poem, "Advent of Today." As she later told Williams, "I felt I must in my small way publicize you," but she was terribly surprised when the newspaper printed the poem without formal permission— and left out a line, "the leaves," from stanza six.

Williams took the mishap with good cheer; "But your own statements about the book touched me deeply. You are very kind, very wise and your critical observations hit the nail on the head." He takes up Marianne Moore's remark that "everyone is an exile" and wishes aLoud "for 'us* to have a place ... to which we could resort ... where we could be known as poets and our work be seen. . . .Being exiles, might we not at least, as exiles, consort more easily together?"

A few weeks later, Marianne Moore discovered that she was responsible for the missing line from "Advent of Today" (she corrected the error in a letter to the editor) and apologized to Williams. She refers also to her statement in the review about the book's dedication "To ray wife":

Dedications, like more literal gifts, often lack effectiveness apart from the offerer's consciousness of having offered them; but this tribute, as some know, is far other than a becomingly kind perfunctoriness."

To Williams she says, "I hope Florence will pardon the bald praise of her in the review. I've been fixing for years to say something about her in print but lack finesse."

Hew Directions in Prose and Poetry. Edited by James Laughlin, IV. Norfolk, CT: New Directions, 1936.

In the mid-1930's, James Laughlin attended the "Ezuversity,"acafe-tutorial with Ezra Pound in Italy. Pound's career instructions for him were to return to the States and do something "useful,” such as to publish "literachoor” that Pound thought neglected. Laughlin began with a poetry column, "New Directions," in New Democracy and later formed his own publishing house, soon to be a home for the works of Williams, Pound, and a fabulous list of American writers.

This first annual anthology contains "Perpetuum Mobile: The City," Williams's long poem about New York, and "How to Write, an essay with a title reminiscent of Ezra Pound's How to Read. Marianne Moore's "See in the Midst of Fair Leaves," a rather dark poem reflecting pre-war tensions in Europe, faces "How to Write."

Marianne Moore. The Pangolin and Other Verse. London: The Brendin Publishing Company, 1936.

This elegant book was published by Bryher and illustrated by George Plank, an artist from Carlisle, Pa, who had become famous as a painter of covers for Vogue. Marianne Moore gave Williams a copy of the book and received back a paeon of praise on May 24, 1936:

"You still bewilder me, happily, with your writing but it seems less a mystery and more an accomplishment now. You are a most amazing person. Far at the end of the narrowing horn I see a spot of sunlight toward which you are conducting us. . . . you are impatient of everything else—and that's a most dangerous thing."

Marianne Moore by Arthur Steiner, circa 1938.

'Marianne was BEAUTIFULl I found myself drifting off into the trance which only beauty creates more than once. There is a quality there which is unspeakably elevating--through all her frail pretenses of being this and that, by God she IS. The modern Andromeda--with her greying red hair all coiled about her brows.'

Williams, quoting himself in a letter to Marianne Moore, December 7, 1936, after they had both read poems at the Brooklyn Institute.

After all I was a physician and not only that I was a pediatrician and I’d always wanted to write a book about a baby. . . . why not write about Flossie's babyhood, combining all the material I had learned about her with all that I had learned about babies. 1 was filled up with babies and I wanted to write about them.

Williams sent Chapter IV (as published in Paqany, Autumn 1931) to Marianne Moore. That chapter tells of the frail infant Flossie and her parents Gurlie and Joe Stechen. It is a time of anger and pretended anger and laughter, coupled with Gurlie'B determination to move from an airless flat west of Central park to a too large but cooler one on the East Side. At stake is her determination to make her tiny baby thrive. Marianne Moore thanks Williams with references to details of the chapter:

Am awesomely impressed by the verisimilitude of Joe's baby . . . and deranged with solicitude for Joe. The manipulation Is especially good I should say where the sombre rather respectable building causes revulsion though not enough to stave off the 7-room apartment and in Joe's various epilepsies—dashing the book to the floor, forcing himself to appear angrier than her was, t so on. You hold a strong brief for domestic harmony.

At another time, Moore described the chapter "To Start Again Once More" as "to me one of the best things in all your writings."

Letter from H^l&ne Williams to Mary Warner Moore, January 1937.

Marianne Moore's mother, Mary Warner Moore, wrote a note to Williams’s mother, Helfene Williams, who was in her late eighties and living with her son. Although the letter is now lost, it seems that Mrs. Moore mentioned a poem by Williams which concerns his mother, probably "Eve" in Adam £ Eve £ the City, williams explains the

quandary to Marianne:

Your mother's letter to my canary in her room upstairs did not cause any change of dynasty but it puzzled the lady greatly. .    .    . But I

explained the affair in general terms, saying that you are a writer as am I and that therefore your mother felt a certain bond of sympathy which she was expressing in that way. Mother looked hard at me but said no more. Whewi

Williams went on to say that he would one day explain the affair to his mother who, he was sure, would forgive him as she always did.

Mrs. Williams replied to Mrs. Moore, "thanking you for your profitable message:"

The little I have read of modern poetry I don't like it I always look for the spiritual and the symbols, the sublime. When I see the bride all in white I dont think of the arrangement of the flowers nor the quality of them but of the symbol of purity. I say the same for poetry.

Williams commented to Marianne:    "I noticed that she

does not 1 ike modern poetry."

Charles Sheeler: Paintings, Drawings, Photographs. With an introduction by william Carlos williams. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1939,

In his introduction to this retrospective of nearly two hundred works, including a portrait photograph of himself, by his friend Charles Sheeler, Williams writes:

It is ourselves we seek to see upon the canvas, as no one ever saw us, before we lost our courage and our love. ... A picture at its best is pure exchange, men flow in and out of it, it doesn’t matter how, I think Sheeler at his best is that, a way of painting powerfully articulate."

This pamphlet of poems contains fifteen sections for "Paterson" and nine other poems. Among the latter, Marianne Moore thought

"Against the Sky has a tension as of held breath, that is beyond envy,—a finality so right it is like a suspended prism that doesn't move."

But, probably with regard to the "Paterson" poems, she has negative things to say:

Some of your 'everyday' images, I would say, are too everyday to be condoned. ... Internal poison may require external poison to counteract it but there certainly must be a point at which the dose becomes dangerous."

The VJedqe. Cumroington, Mass: The Cummington Press, 1944.

When publishers could not get paper because of the war, two young printers, Harry Duncan and Paul Williams, were able to produce a small edition at their own press. This book of poems is prefaced with Williams's "poetic creed at the time—for all time as far as that goes.n

"Burning the Christmas Greens" commemorates an annual event described by Williams's aon, Paul, as a most dangerousspectacle. He explains tellsthat likeother Rutherford youths, the two Williams boys collected Christmas trees left out for the trashmen. Their father let them store the trees in the cellar of their frame house against theft by other boys. When the pile had assumed enormous proportions, the very dead trees were mounded in the yard and set afire, to the great consternation of the neighbors in their nearby frame houses.

When The Wedge appeared, Marianne Moore had just published Nevertheless and the two poets exchanged books. Of The Wedge, Marianne Moore wrote:

Trifles pulverize under it. It’s like the falls of the Zambezi or as you say, saxifrage [*Paterson: The Falls" appears in it]. Impact without the detriment of words, I envy.

And Williams on "Elephants" in Nevertheless:

The elephants are like flies in amber, there they stand permanently: this is something you do like no one else—with that modesty which is the hallmark of the artist--a modesty that cannot be broken down by any statement about it since it is made fixed by the poem itself and so cannot be altered by anything that anyone says.

"Three Poems," The Genera 1 Magaz i ne and Historical Chronicle (The University of Pennsylvania Alumni Society), Summer 1945.

Williams inscribed this offprint containing "The statue," "April 6," and "The Dish of Fruit": "Dear M, Is this official recognition?" Marianne Moore replied: "I don't know much about official recognition but 1 know it's private recognition. ... I am delighted of course that the over educated are right sometimes and are not always making us uneasy."

Briarcliff Quarterly. October 1946. William Carlos Williams issue.

To this special issue, Williams contributed three poems, including "Choral: The Pink Church" and a chapter of The Build Up, Marianne Moore, heavily burdened at the time by her translation of La Fontaine, asked the editor to forgive her "paucity" and offered a short statement concluding:

I can only say that for me, lacklustreness and aesthetic mildew vanish under the burning-glass of real poetry, and William Carlos Williams is the real thing.”

The Russell Loines Award, 1948.

In May 1948, Marianne Moore was asked to present the Russell Loines Award of the National Institute of Arts and Letters to Williams. In her short speech, she said: "Various terms applied to the work of William Carlos Williams are appropriate also to surgery: ", . . fearless, exact, uncompromising, humane. . . . He is our Audubon of locality and American behavior."

Williams's remarks upon acceptance must have produced a chuckle in the audience: "Thank you, Marianne—my old friend and occasional admonisher; Yes, said Miss Moore twenty years ago, characteristically within quotation marks (I shall never forget it). Yes, he is deep; I can see to the bottom!" "Marianne Moore." Quarterly Review of Literature. Annandale-on-Hudson, N. Y., No. 2, 1948.

This special issue on Marianne Moore contained tributes from her contemporaries, including two pages by Williams which are a model of his powers of observation of the work of another poet. In addition, he shows his affection for her; "The magic name, Marianne Moore, has been among my most cherished possessions for nearly forty years, synonymous with much that I hold dearest to my heart." He went on to say that she had

a talent which diminishes the tom-toming on the hollow men of a wasteland to an irrelevant pitter-patter. Nothing is hollow or waste to the imagination of Marianne Moore.

How so slight a woman can so roar, like a secret Niagara, and with so gracious an inference, is one with all mysteries where strength masquerading as weakness—a woman, a frail woman—bewilders us. ... I don't know what else to say of Marianne Moore — or rather I should like to talk on indefinitely about her, an endless research into those relationships which her poems, eruse of the

materials of poetry, connote. For I don't think there is a better poet writing in America today or one who touches so deEtly so great a range of our thought.

Marianne Moore. ''Rigorists."

In February 1949, williams listened to a record of Marianne Moore reading this poem about the introduction

oE reindeer into Alaska as a means of preventing the extinction of the Eskimos. Williams's letter of February 18th describes how he "almost jumped out of my skin at the concluding line.” He calls the poem "Terribly real, a leap through commonplaces to a mystery where the human and the animal join in a superhuman reality." The last stanzas with the line that so pleased Williams read:

... And

This candelabrum-headed ornament

for a place where ornaments are scarce, sent

to Alaska,

was a gift preventing the extinction of the Eskimo. The battle was won

by a quiet man,

Sheldon Jackson, evangel to that race

whose reprieve he read in the reindeer's face.

Paterson. Books One to Four. Norfolk, ct.:    New

Directions, 1946-1951.

Williams's epic poem about Paterson as man and city began with his 1927 short poem of the same name in The D_ial.. He says in his Autobiography that "a man is indeed a city, and for the poet there are no ideas but in things.” He wanted to write about the Passaic river which connects Paterson and Rutherford, New Jersey, and about "the people close about me: to know in detail,

minutely what I was talking about. That is the poet's business. Not to talk in vague categories but to write particularly, as a physician works, upon a patient, upon the thing before him, in the particular to discover the universal."

Book Four caused concern in Marianne Moore who wrote to the publisher that it left a main impression of "license," not of art, and that while she admired its virtuosity, she was more impressed "by its bravado, or to be exact, sex mania." She and Williams discussed their differences, Williams saying, "To me the normal world is something which to you must seem foreign." Moore replies: "The trouble for me with your rough and ready girl, is that she does not seem to me part of something that is inescapably typical, . . . protest as you may in the style of our early arguments about the lily and the mud." "Make allowances, William, and muster charity. ... It is after all, loyalty which makes one resistful?"

The Desert Music and Other Poems. New York:    Random

House, 1954.

In appraising the book to williams , Marianne Moore wrote: "Well, everything you have ever done seems to be here better done than before." Always acutely aware of Williams's dual accomplishments as a writer and a physician, and herself partial to yellow flowers, she singled out "The Yellow Flower," which suggests the poet-healer at work, as "a kind of gospel:"

What shall I say, because talk I must?

That I have found a cure for the sick?

I have found no cure for the sick

but this crooked flower which only to look upon all men

are cured.

This copious selection of Williams’s prose shows the range of his interests — art, poetry, music — with

particular emphasis on the artists of his period__

Matisse, Joyce, Stein, Sheeler, and Moore, among many others. It contains two essays on Marianne Moore. Of the second one (1948), Moore wrote to Williams:

. . . another felicity that did not enter my dazed consciousness when reading your comments on me in the Quarterly Review, is the metaphor of the shrub: 'A good writer makes the world come to him to brush against the spines of his shrub.' As for your courageous statement about my work--(about me, scarcely perceptible in the world of current thought), I thank you for this encouragement.

Williams was pleased with her delight and replied: "In the give and take of a lifetime our little boat has kept wonderfully afloat. . . . How in the devil is one to approach a man or woman whom one loves and admires for his undoubted qualities which we treasure? . . . The intelligent perceptioh and expression of our insights into their lives is what it amounts to."

Journey to Love. New York: Random House, 1955.

This collection of poems contains Williams's long love poem, "Asphodel, That Greeny Flower," which, like the book itself, is dedicated to Flossie. The asphodel was a legendary flower which Greek myth said covered the Elysian Fields, and it had a kind of totemic meaning for Williams. The poem begins:

Of asphodel, that greeny flower, like a buttercup

upon its branching stem— save that it's green and wooden—

I come, my sweet,

to sing to you.

We lived long together

a life

with flowers.

filled

if you will,


Sappho. San Francisco: Poems in Folio, 1957,

Accompanying this beautifully printed broadside is a note on the translation by Williams:

I'm 73 years old. I've gone on living as I could as a doctor and writing poetry on the side. I practice to get money to live as 1 please, and what pleases me is to write poetry.

He explains that, with help from friends who knew Greek better than he, he has been "as accurate as the meaning of the words permitted—always with a sense of our own American idiom to instruct me." "Poet Asserts Library of Coongres Osed False Charges of Disloyalty." The New York Times, October 12, 1954, d. 20. ~ “

Williams was offered the consu1 tantship in poetry at the Library of Congress twice during the early 1950s. The second time, when America was at the height of the witchhunting hysteria brought on by Senator Joseph McCarthy, Williams was attacked by a foolish letter in a little maga z ine which accused him of treason-by-poetry, citing such poems as "Russia." An F. B, I. search which turned up nothing at all so delayed Williams's appointment that his term expired without his ever having taken office.

"Marianne Moore," Trinity Review (Hartford, Ct.) , Spring-Summer 1957.

Williams's tribute forms part of "A Garland for Marianne Moore” in celebration of her seventieth birthday. Moore commented on Williams's words:

"No poet" is correct. I have never disappointed you? There we have a dialectical nut to crack.

I have never been offended—merely was born contentious; an, moreover, the most grateful person, animal, writer, on earth;

With never ending gratitude to Florence and you—and to the boys; observing them has made a difference in me.

Marianne Moore kept a clipping about Pasteur in her copy of Collec ted Earlier Poems. In a letter to Williams in July 1957, she remarked on the article and said: "I lean on Pasteur. ... I regard art—writing, 1 mean--to be more science than art, if it is to go beyond the writer; and marvel that we put up with haymows of selfexpression that is fluffy and unscientific".

Pictures from Bruegel and Other Poems. Norfolk, CT: New Directions, 1962.

The "Picture from Bruegel" are a group of ten poems inspired by the Flemish master painter of peasants at weddings and haymaking, and of the famous "Fall of Icarus." They and fifty other poems written in the previous ten years won the Pulitzer Prize, awarded Williams posthumously in 1963.

Florence Williams. Letter to Marianne Moore, April 22, 1963.

A month after Williams's death, Flossie replied to Marianne Moore's note of sympathy. "Bill and I had a good life. .    . years to treasure—full of

companionship—partnership—ups & downs—in fact a life. You have always been a valued friend—tho' we saw so little of you. Bill's respect— admiration and affection for you—was great—as was and is mine."

NOTES "TELL ME, TELL ME" AND HENRY JAMES

A note to "Tell Me,. Tell Me" cites Henry James's Notes of a Son and Brother as the source of the quotation "breathed inconsistency and drank / contradictions." An early typescript of the poem, however, concludes with a note: "Referring to Henry James and _a sense of identity by William Walsh" The Listener, August 6,    1959." That

article (pp. 205-206) is a review of the publication in combined form of A Small Boy and Others, Notes of a^ Son and Brother, and The Middle Years, brought together by F. W. Dupee as James's Autobiography (London:    William

Allen, 1956) .

From Walsh's review, MM chose three passages for incorporation into her poem. ""'Passion for the particular1" (stanza 2, line 7) is drawn from:

The discovery, or invent ion, of a cons istent self had on James the effect of religious faith on his father or intellectual theory on William. It summoned, unblocked, and conciliated his powers. Certainly faith or theory could not have done this for a temperament which found them both terribly deficient in presence* in texture, in density. "It was all a play I hadn't been to." With such an insistent passion for the particular, the only inclusive order his nature could accept was the coherence of character. (P. 206)

Stanza 3 of the typescript version refers to the Tailor of Gloucester

who "'breathed inconsistency and drank contradiction*", dazzled

not by the sun but by "'shadowy possibility*"' everything as James said, "1 representing more than meets the eye.1"

Phrases from two passages are combined in this description (which MM altered slightly before publication): And there was the inconsistency which marked the

upbringing and education for which his father was responsible: "The 1iteral piayed on our education as small a part as it perhaps ever played in any and we wholesomely breathed inconsistency and drank contradictions."    (P. 205)

It was not the sunlit object but the significant shadow it cast that dazzled the young James. He had the feeling, he records, during this part* of his life, "that everything should represent more than what immediately and all too blankly met the eye. .    .

What I wanted in my presumption was that the object, the place, the person, the unreduced impression. .    .

should give out to me something of a situation." (P. 206. )

^The Tai I or of G1 oucester is, of course, Beatrix Potter1s children's story about the "tired man who yet, at dusk/ cut a masterpiece of cerise // for no tailor-and-cutter jury- / only brown mice to see. .    . The

tailor is "rescued" by mice who, when the tailor fell sick, completed the silk coat and waistcoat he was sewing, just in time for the wedding of the Mayor of Gloucester on Chri stmas Day in the morn!ng.

"W. S. LANDOR"

HM's note to HW. S. Landor" instructs the reader to "see introductory note by Havelock Ellis to Landor's Imaginary Conversations." The following quotations from that volume (London: Walter Scott, 1886) are those upon which MM drew for the poem.

[Dickens recorded of LandorJ that at the height of his indignation, and when his hands were clenched, there was a "noticeable tendency to relaxation on the part of the thumb." (p. xv.)

[Emerson wrote of Landor:] "He has a wonderful brain," he writes after a visit to the villa at Piesole, "despotic, violent, and inexhaustible, meant for a soldier, by what chance converted to letters, in which there is not a style or a tint not known to him, yet

with an English appetite tor action and heroes." (pp. xxi-xxii. )

His tenderness, as it may be called, for flowers has left many traces on his work. . . . One day, it is said, in a fit of anger, he threw his cook out of the window? immediately after he was seen at the window beneath which the injured man lay: "Good God! I forgot the violets." (p. xv.)

"I meddle not at present with infinity or eternity, he makes Diogenes say to Plato; "when I can comprehend them I will talk about them." (p. xxii.)

"I MAY, I MIGHT, I MUST"

In 1957, at the suggestion of Professor Laurence Stapleton of Bryn Mawr College, MM resurrected a poem she had written in college, gave it a new title, and placed it squarely within the canon of her "complete" work. The text of the poem remained unchanged (except for the removal of the comma in the last line), but its title changed four t imes:

"Conservatism"—MS, ca. February, 1909 (RML 1250/1/11);

"Progress—Tipyn o' Bob, 6 (June 1909), 10;

"Perseus to Polydectes"—MS, ca. 1914;

"I May, I Might, I Must"—Trinity Review ll(Spring/ Summer, 1957 ) , 23.

The third title refers to Perseus, the son of Zeus and Danae, who was rescued from a sea-chest by Polydectes and sent to conquer Medusa. When Perseus cut off Medusa's head, the blood soaked into the earth and brought forth Pegasus, the winged steed of poetry.

"I May, I Might, I Must" may refer to a line in Sidney1s "What Have I Thus Betrayed My Libertie" (from Astrophel and Stella) which MM included in her notes for a broadcast discussion of Sidney, although she did not quote the line during the broadcast (as published in Invitation to Learning, 2 [Summer 1952] , 181-187). Sidney's poem describes a person's determination to break away from the tyrrany of another and reads: "I may, I must, I can, I will do."

ANNOUNCEMENTS

SPEAKING OF CENTENARIES

There are plana afoot to hold a conference honoring MM's 100's year in late June, 1967, at that splendid home of summer Modernist conferences, the University of Maine at Orono. Carroll F. Terrell, editor of PaideumaSagatrieb, who, with his fabulous staff has planned the very successful Pound and Williams conferences, will be the host and organier. Marianne Moore: woman and Poet, a volume in his series of essays on poets in the Pound-Williams tradition, will be published at the time of the conference.

It is never too soon to ask for suggestions for:

papers for the book / conference (due in 1976); papers for the conference; poets who might be invited to read; and evening entertainment.

Please write to Carroll F. Terrell, E/M 305, University of Maine at Orono, Orono, ME 04469 or Patricia C. Willis, Rosenbach Museum & Library, 2010 DeLancey Place, Philadelphia PA 19103.

1985 is the centenary of Bryn Mawr College. Celebrations are being developed by each department, and the English Department has chosen to honor MM and H. D., both "Class of 1909." The two-day presentation of papers and poetry readings is scheduled for 30-31 March, 1965.

Twentieth Century L i terature will publish a special double issue on MM, probably in the fall of 1964. Andrew Kappel is guest editor for the issue. To obtain a copy, or to subscribe, write to The Editor, Twentieth Century Literature, Hofstra University, Hempstead NY,

MARIANNE MOORE COMMEMORATIVE STAMP PROJECT

To celebrate MM's Centenary Year, 19B7, we have begun a project to request that a United States postage stamp be issued in her honor during that year. The Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee of the Bureau of Engraving meets six times a year to review proposals. About 15 subjects are selected a year. AN^Y expression of interest (a letter, for instance) serves to place a given proposal on the next meeting's agenda.

For a stamp idea to have any chance at all, the Committee must be

—flooded with "new expressions of interest — from citizens throughout the country.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

WRITE: The Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee Stamps Division U. S. Postal Service Washington D. C. 20206

Write and suggest the name of Marianne Moore as the subject of a commemorative stamp, with your own reasons for such a request.

ASK:    For a petition.

Pre-addressed, self-mailer petitions to hold 25 signatures have been prepared for distribution to schools, colleges, church groups, libraries, and the like. A biographical sketch of MM accompanies them.

Send for a petition to:

Patricia Willis Rosenbach Museum & Library 2010 DeLancey Place Phildelphia PA 19103 (215)-732-1600

THANK YOU FOR PARTICIPATING IN THE PROJECT