Marianne Moore

15 Nov

By Christine Hamm

Not the white-haired spinster that everyone knows, crowing “I too dislike it”, but the ginger girl in college who fell madly and painfully in love with her roommate. About this, her biographers say (…) or (“It was perfectly normal, during that time – it meant nothing”). Not the grandmotherly, crack-throated woman with the trembly script, talking of cookies and nothing but bad obvious rhymes, but the fancy tango dancer that her devotee, Elizabeth Bishop, wrote about, “dancing with both the men and women, both lining up to get a chance with her”. Not the elderly baseball throwing American icon, but the perverted suffragette who inspected everyone’s underwear as soon as they entered her cluttered apartment. Not the “imaginary gardens with real toads,” but the “I have seen this swan and/ I have seen you; I have seen ambition without/understanding in a variety of forms” with the sly young smirk, mouth awry and large, ready to smack and stomp as soon as you get her going. 

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