The Moorean Oculus: Observations of the Unconventional in the Late Works of Marianne Moore



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Marianne Moore, modernist poet, left behind drafts of poetry within her various numbers of notebooks which are preserved in the Marianne Moore Digital Archive. Incorporating these early drafts of her work allows for a more complete picture on the background thought and inspiration behind the poems themselves. Her mental state and drive for writing the poetry is also able to be presented within the analysis itself. Within "An Expedient," Moore's depression can be noted through certain articulations of emotion surrounding the drafts of the poetry. Analyzing the figures of Saint Jerome, who translated the bible into Latin from the Greek, and in analyzing the figure of Leonardo Da Vinci, one can see Moore's interest in ascetic manners of living which are manifested in her own choice to be a celibate woman. The figures and analysis of these figures also allow for the contribution of a queer archive, where the numerous manifestations of human sexuality exist. As Moore pushed the boundaries of what a poem could be, she also pushed for greater understanding of little written-of figures, at least within a poetic context, to foster advancement for herself and for poetry as it continued to evolve and continues to evolve into the 21st century.