KR BlogEnthusiamsLiterature

Reclaiming the Intellectual Agency of Women: Marianne Moore & Jamesian Psychology

An Argument for Moore as Philosopher

Critics and readers alike know Marianne Moore as a poet whose work was not strictly limited to literary influences.[1] Throughout her body of work, she inhabits many voices and discourses, which range from scientific rhetoric or materials to the texts that circulated within popular culture. Indeed, Moore’s ability to place different types of language in dialogue with one another has become one of the most frequently noted features of her body of work. In “Marianne Moore: Poetry, Painting, Photography,” Stacy Hubbard, for example, argues that, for Moore, “arrangement and imaginative appropriation” of language constitute some of the central tasks of poetry.[2] Similarly, in her recent study, Marianne Moore and the Cultures of Modernity, Victoria Bazin describes Moore as a “collector” or “curator” of language, not all of which is her own.[3]

This fixation on the polyphonic qualities inherent in Moore’s poems is by no means misguided. Consider Moore’s “An Octopus,” which appears in her edited and revised Complete Poems,

 …Deceptively reserved and flat,

it lies “in grandeur and mass”
beneath a sea of shifting dunes;
dots of cyclamen-red and maroon on its  clearly defined pseudo-podia…[4]

What’s revealing about this poem is the relationship between Moore’s own and other voices, particularly those that populated scientific journals of the time period. We first glimpse scientific rhetoric with the phrase “deceptively reserved and flat,” which reads as description that strives for objectivity, a technique that is commonly used in scientific writing. Yet the first quoted passage appears a bit later, when Moore writes, “‘in grandeur and mass.'” The fact that not every piece of scientific knowledge, language, or rhetoric is cited, in my opinion, is significant, as it suggests that this rhetoric that circulates within culture has been subsumed into Moore’s own use of language. Moore’s definition of culture encompassed a wide range of materials, including, but not limited to, scientific reports, descriptions of the natural world, conversational fragments, advertisements, and other literary texts, all of which appear, at some point, in her poems. The individual voice, then, appears as a polyphony, constituted by the cultural landscape the individual inhabits. Moore’s interest in the multiplicity that exists within the individual subject surfaces throughout her body of work, from early poems like “The Hero,” first published in the June 1932 issue of Poetry Magazine,[5] to the last poem in her final collection, “Sun.”[6] In Moore’s poetics, too, she notes, “it is impossible to be original, in the sense of doing something that has never been thought of before.”[7] It is not surprising that here, too, she gestures at the inevitability of appropriation within a shared cultural imagination.

Yet polyvocality is by no means uncommon in early twentieth century American poetry. As Lesley Wheeler rightly points out in The Poetics of Enclosure: American Women Poets from Dickinson to Dove, many poets writing during this time period questioned the assumption that the lyric is synonymous with a single spoken voice. For instance, Wheeler writes, “Many American poets challenged the fiction of the single speaker, and created lyrics that layer or channel multiple voices: examples might include Dickinson’s ‘choral voice,’ Whitman’s ‘translations’ in ‘Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking,’ and James Merrill’s séance poetry.”[8] Wheeler adeptly describes the increasing desire among poets of this generation to expand what is possible within existing approaches to voice in the lyric. James Merrill’s The Changing Light at Sandover (characterized by Wheeler as “séance poetry”), as well as T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, Frank O’Hara’s “In Memory of My Feelings,” and Pound’s Cantos, illustrate a growing interest in the ways that the lyric “I” remains inextricable from other voices and texts. Indeed, voice was seen less as a singular entity, and increasingly, poets conceived of the lyric “I” as an alterity that speaks through the poet. Within the fiction of the period too, writers questioned the primacy of the single narrator, instead incorporating multiple perspectives, which, in many texts, shift without notice. Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse and The Waves, Gertrude Stein’s Three Lives, and even Willa Cather’s The Lost Lady present a single voice as a multiplicity. This multiplicity certainly took many forms, ranging from the elements of collage in Eliot’s The Waste Land (in which the speaker’s voice is comprised entirely of found fragments of historical materials in the final stanzas of the work) to the suggestion of collective consciousness in Woolf’s fiction (particularly as characters’ innermost thoughts are narrated by others in The Waves). What’s unique about Moore’s work, though, is her commitment to situating her interrogation of conventional lyric modes within a philosophical tradition that remained hostile to contributions from both women and individuals working outside of conventional scholarly forms of writing.

With that in mind, critics who present Moore as interested only in challenging the lyric tradition, and this “fiction of the single speaker,” risk minimizing some of the most innovative aspects of her work—namely, her use of found text, appropriation, and material from other disciplines to make a contribution to the philosophical discourses of the time period she inhabited. I believe that many of Moore’s polyphonic texts exist in dialogue with the writings of William James, particularly his writings in the field of psychology. By weaving found text with her own words, and refusing to distinguish between her voice and the voices of culture, Moore echoes many of James’ beliefs about the sociality of the self, particularly his belief that the mind is made possible only by the cultural symbols, myths, and shared experiences that populate it. Moore’s use of collage, as well as the polyphonic structure of her poems, reflect an astute understanding of James’ work, but also an interest in refining and modifying his claims. Unlike James, who believed in an “ideal self,” which is distinguished from one’s “social self,” Moore suggests that one’s being in society represents one’s only and truest self.[9] Moore ultimately questions the boundaries that James has established between self and world, using appropriation and collage do so. Moore’s technical choices, then, engage a particular philosophical question that may not be at the fore of other writers’ work, even those working with seemingly similar polyphonic texts.

Additionally, one might ask why the social, dialogical construction of subjectivity seemed so appealing to feminist writers like Moore. I believe that Moore was deeply invested in reclaiming the intellectual agency of women, particularly within a philosophical discourse that remained hostile to them. Indeed, one might read Moore’s stylistic engagement with Jamesian psychology as an attempt to render philosophical discourses more inclusive. In her influential book, Feminist Aesthetics and the Politics of Modernism, Ewa Ziarek asks, “How, despite the weight of ‘dumb muteness’ or ‘dying tongue’ can new ways of speaking ‘illegitimately’ be brought into existence?”[10] One observes Moore teasing out possible answers to this question, particularly as she democratizes the privileged and protected forms of academic writing, suggesting that literary artists can make necessary contributions to contemporary philosophical conversations.


Marianne Moore and the James Family

Although Moore did not know William James personally, one may safely assume her familiarity with his writings given the intellectual environment that she inhabited. Victoria Bazin elaborates in Marianne Moore and the Cultures of Modernism, “Being educated at a leading women’s college in the first decade of the twentieth century necessarily meant that she was exposed to pragmatism through teachers, public lectures, and personal friendships.”[11] Bazin rightly underscores the prominence of James’ writings within the intellectual culture of that time period, but Moore’s knowledge of James’ work was not limited to classroom lectures.

In recent years, numerous scholars and biographers have also written on Marianne Moore’s close friendship with Peggy James, William James’ daughter, a connection that allowed Moore access to many of the famous family’s social gatherings.[12] Moore found herself enamored of Peggy James’ personality, but her friendship also sprung from her interest in Peggy James’ father’s writings. Moore’s correspondence from this period provides a great deal of insight into just how pervasive an influence this friendship exerted on Moore’s intellectual development. One gleans from the letters that it was an especially close friendship, particularly in 1908 letter, when she writes of Peggy James, “I get nervous as a horse when I think of touching certain parts of her.”[13] Peggy James appears as both a confidante and a revered figure. Despite the close nature of this friendship, one frequently sees William James’ work being brought to the fore. In another 1908 letter, for example, she describes Peggy James as “a ‘darling’ pure and simple,” but the letter quickly turns to Peggy James’ father, as she quotes his writings on “the generation of nervous moods.”[14] In a later letter, she even recommends James’ work to her mother, a gesture which has been interpreted by critics as a fairly resounding endorsement.[15] Throughout her correspondence from 1908 and 1909 especially, one sees Moore completely enthralled by James’ work, and it comes as no surprise that she engages many of his ideas in her poetry.

During this time period, Moore was just beginning to consider the relationship between poetry and other disciplines. Biographer Linda Leavell notes that during that year, she had two poems appear in Typin o’bob: “The Sentimentalist” and “My Cup-Bearer.”[16] One can easily observe the confluence of her readings in poetry and James’ philosophical work. She writes in “The Sentimentalist,”

                               Sometimes in a rough beam sea,
When the waves are running high,
I gaze about for a sight of land,
Then sing, glancing up at the sky,
“‘Here’s to the girl I love,
And I wish that she were nigh,
If drinking beer would bring her here’
I’d drink the ship’s hold dry.”[17]


One observes much of Moore’s reading in James surfacing and changing shape. As Leavell points out in Holding On Upside Down, she was reading James’ essay “The Will To Believe,” which exerted a profound impact on the young poet.[18] The essay, essentially a philosophical treatise against suicide, urges readers to trust in providence, rather than taking one’s own life.[19] While one can observe similar themes of loss and despair surfacing in “The Sentimentalist,” I find it significant that even in this early stage in her career, Moore was keenly aware of how inherited literary tropes could be brought to bear on this philosophical question.

Indeed, much of the poem reads as a parody of inherited literary tropes, which include the piece’s preoccupation with the speaker’s emotional state, an interiority which is then projected onto the speaker’s surroundings. As Bernhard Greiner argues in Rethinking Emotion, interiority was increasingly dramatized in poetry published after 1800, particularly following the publication of works like Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, which presented self-consciousness as a source of knowledge about both self and world.[20] Moore’s poem reads as an effort to place James’ essay in dialogue with these inherited poetic and philosophical conventions. By titling the piece “The Sentimentalist,” Moore calls attention to the indulgence inherent in these literary conventions, in much the same way that James cautions readers against despair, hopelessness, and suicide. James writes in “The Will To Believe,” “Evidently, then, our non-intellectual nature does influence our convictions. There are passional tendencies and volitions which run before and others which come after belief, and it is only the latter that are too late for the fair; and they are not too late when the previous passional work has been already in their own direction.”[21] Here James criticizes the tendency to privilege emotion over reason, suggesting that this adherence to reason requires a conscious effort on the part of the individual subject. Through phrases like “If drinking beer would bring her here,” Moore, like James, gestures at the absurdity and futility of despair. In many ways, the absurd conjectures (“If drinking beer would bring her here,” for instance) suggest the lack of reason inherent in such displays of emotion. Like James, Moore encourages not the self-consciousness romanticized by poets of an earlier generation, but rather, calls for the subject to consciously balance emotion and reason, particularly when considering the myriad ways that introspection can become both indulgent and destructive.

One may safely assume, then, that during Moore’s early years of writing, particularly 1908 and 1909, her work and that of William James’ were becoming increasingly linked. Poetry, for Moore, offered a vehicle for philosophical inquiry, and in many ways, the practice of poetry offered unique opportunities that were not available to those working in traditional academic disciplines.


Pragmatist Philosophy, Appropriation, and Affect in Moore’s Early Poems, 1909-1924

As Moore continued to delve into James’ writings in the field of psychology while at Bryn Mawr, his worldview became integral to the way she conceived of the relationship between the poet and the community he or she inhabited. As Cristanne Miller notes, Moore lists James’ Psychology as “one of the books that ‘did most to shape her vocational attitude and her philosophy of life.”[22] Indeed, much of her identity as a young writer seems bound up in James’ worldview. Biographer Linda Leveall also notes that during the years of 1908 and 1909, Moore’s interest in appropriation emerged, arguably in tandem with her interest in Pragmatist psychology and the sociality of the self.[23]

In much of her very early poetry, one sees also Moore attempting to reconcile pragmatist psychology, and its emphasis on the self as a social construct, with a Romantic tradition that privileged interiority and introspection. Cristanne Miller notes in Marianne Moore: Questions of Authority, that Moore had inherited a Romantic literary tradition, which conceived of the poet and his or her responsibility to society in “psychological and personal terms.”[24] In other words, the poet serves his or her community by allowing them access to personal insights, affect, and epiphanies. Moore sought to not only enrich the community through introspection, but rather, to acknowledge the reciprocal relationship between the poet’s imagination and the culture he or she inhabits. In her assessment, it is culture, not the poet, that provides a shared conceptual framework for beginning, refining, and communicating one’s own imaginative work. In other words, Moore came to question the binary distinction between poet and culture, suggesting that that the boundaries between self and world remain more fluid than her predecessors may have thought.

Consider this poem, entitled “Ennui,” from the Typin o’Bob, Bryn Mawr’s undergraduate publication,


                               He often expressed

A curious wish,
To be interchangeably
Man and fish;
To nibble the bait
Off the hook
Said he,
And then slip away
Like a ghost
In the sea.[25]


The protagonist, like Moore, struggles to balance being in the world with the solitary act of writing. In much the same way that the character depicted here discovers that existing in society illuminates and sustains his more isolated time as “a ghost in the sea,” Moore was already beginning to envision a poetics of conversation, in which the poet does not simply report interior reflections to the reader, but rather, acknowledges the ways in which even these solitary moments are socially constructed or mediated. For Moore, thought itself remained fundamentally dialogic, as the mind is populated by the shared narratives, symbols, and rhetorics of culture. Even early poems like this one exhibit a keen awareness of the myriad ways shared culture sustains and enriches one’s most solitary experiences.

Moore’s interest in negotiating the solitude of writing with existing as part of a collective clearly informs the spare, minimal style of the poem. By offering the reader very short lines, comprised at most of four words, Moore creates a deliberate, measured tone, evoking the character’s introspective state of mind. Indeed, the pacing of the poem is slowed by Moore’s bold use of enjambment, prompting the reader to pause frequently and reflect alongside the “he” being portrayed in the poem. This artful use of very spare lines invites a collaborative relationship between poet and reader, as both are engaged in the creation of meaning, even though more than likely immersed in solitude. In this respect, Moore’s application of James’ thought is most visible. In much the same way that the character Moore envisions must “nibble the bait” presented to him and be nourished before he “slips away” to his solitary life, Moore suggests that our being in the world provides a conceptual framework, more importantly, a vocabulary, for solitary reflection. For both Moore and James, one must exist as part of a community before one is fully equipped for introspection and reflection. Like James, Moore portrays the subject as being persistently engaged in a larger culture, even in one’s most solitary moments.

What’s particularly subversive about Moore’s work here is the fact that she offers not scholarly analysis in the traditional sense, but rather, asserts the claim that literary artists can make necessary contributions to philosophical conversations. One sees Moore reacting against the privileged and protected nature of these theoretical debates, as well as the prevailing hostility to contributions by women. Indeed, her early poems show a keen interest in leveling the hierarchies that we impose upon various types of language, particularly as individuals elevate scholarly and philosophical writings above the materials that circulate in mass culture. Consider another early poem, “The Jelly-Fish,”

Visible, invisible,
A fluctuating charm,
An amber-coloured amethyst
Inhabits it; your arm approaches
and it opens and
it closes;

You have meant
to catch it…[26]

This passage clearly illustrates Moore’s interest in leveling the hierarchies that we impose upon language and the various types of rhetoric that circulate within culture. Here one sees the detached scientific style of observation (“it opens and/it closes…”) alongside more subjective, and decidedly less scientific, language (“You have meant…”). Similarly, one sees conventionally poetic diction (particularly words like “amethyst” and “amber-coloured”) paired with more detached description. Like “Ennui,” “The Jellyfish” presents the speaker as questioning the various types of rhetoric she uses, particularly as she levels the hierarchies that most impose upon them, while at the same time, recognizing herself as being constituted by these discursive fragments. In many ways, Moore prompts the reader to consider the possibility of simultaneously inhabiting and questioning both literary tradition and mass culture more generally.

After her time at Bryn Mawr drew to a close, Moore’s identity as a poet and cultural producer continued to materialize. As Jeff Schaller argues, Moore began to envision the role of the poet as a fundamentally ethical one, as the poet holds a mirror to practices that constitute her linguistic environment in the discursive milieu surrounding her. It is this ability to regard texts, particularly those in other disciplines, as an outsider, that makes the insights offered by poets so valuable. Schaller writes,

Moore’s definitions are anti-dogmatic but consistent: she questions common ways in which people treat each other, how we reveal our personalities and express our ideas, and how we live in society. Analyzing lines of conflict and overlap, she rarely comes down unequivocally on one side, in part because doing so is something she tends to argue against. Being genuine, her ethics are mutable rather than static. Oddly enough, labeling her “personally good” will be shown to be a misunderstanding of her ethics.[27]

Schaller’s argument suggests that Moore’s ethics involves a rigorous questioning of the boundaries we impose upon different types of language. Rather than drawing distinctions, Moore is interested in the “lines of conflict and overlap” that emerge within culture and within the self. I would even argue to extend Schaller’s argument, as this interest in dismantling boundaries between self and world seems to emerge in tandem with early poems like “The Sentimentalist,” which critique the Romantic fixation on introspection and the poet’s imagination set apart from culture.

With that in mind, one can see the influence of James’ Psychology surfacing as Moore develops what she conceived of as a more ethical poetry than one that advocates merely for interiority and introspection. James writes in Psychology: The Briefer Course that “only meaning and essence are teleological, and that classification and conception are purely teleological weapons of the mind.”[28] This idea of classification and division as being counterproductive, and untrue to the essence of phenomena, surfaces frequently in Moore’s early work, particularly in the ways she presents different varieties of language. Consider her sonnet, “No Swan So Fine,” first published in her 1924 collection Observations,

“No water so still as the
dead fountains of Versailles.” No swan,
with swart blind look askance
and gondeliering legs, so fine
as the chintz china one with fawn-
brown eyes and toothed gold…[29]

Here the voices that circulate within culture (in this case, a quote from New York Times Magazine) spark the speaker’s own imaginative work.[30] Moore allows in this piece an excerpt from a popular text entry into a revered literary form, associated with Shakespeare and Petrarch. For Moore, challenging the boundaries between types of language is intricately connected to the question of consciousness and the self. In much the same way that various types of language cohabit within the poem, Moore envisioned consciousness as being populated by the myriad texts, symbols, and narratives that we encounter within culture. It is only the conscious mind, not the unconscious mind, that knows where these various modes of communication fall on the hierarchies that we as a culture impose upon language. For James, these arbitrary hierarchies begin to structure thought and consciousness. Indeed, he argues for us to take action as a culture, “making our nervous system our ally instead of our enemy.”[31] In poems like “No Swan So Fine,” one observes a similar impulse to find new ways of inhabiting language, thus opening up new possibilities for thought and expression.


Marianne Moore as Editor of The Dial, 1925-1929

In her incisive study, Women Editing Modernism: “little” Magazines and Literary History, Jayne E. Marek notes that “Marianne Moore’s work as editor of The Dial has garnered only modest attention in studies of her life…”[32] I certainly agree with Marek that Moore’s tenure as editor of The Dial is undertheorized, especially when considering her beliefs about poetics and the relationship between the poet and society at large. In many ways, one observes Moore reconciling her interest in Pragmatist philosophy, and the sociality of the self, with the structure of the literary community during her years as editor. Moore began to envision the individual poet as a fundamentally dialogic being, whose work existed in only in conversation with other practitioners within the arts and letters. Indeed, she coined the term “conversity” to describe the act of writing, as well as her role as editor, as she envisioned the magazine as a forum for these literary and artistic conversations.[33]

Moore became editor of The Dial in 1925, six years after her graduation from Bryn Mawr College, and shortly after the publication of her first collection by The Egoist Press in 1921.[34] Moore’s first poems had appeared in The Dial prior to the publication of her collection, in 1920.[35] As Moore continued to contribute poems in the next few years, the editor, Scofield Thayer, would fall seriously ill. The departure of the managing editor, Alyse Gregory, at around the same time resulted in what would become a golden opportunity for Moore. Gregory and Thayer were, at that time, reading her serial poems, as she had become quite a regular contributor to the magazine.[36] Given her relationship with the editors and familiarity with the journal’s aesthetic, she was an ideal candidate, and Thayer and Gregory turned to her in their search for a new editor. As Linda Leveall notes, “She was willing to be ‘hated’ by certain writers, she said, because she wanted The Dial ‘respected’ above all else.”[37] Indeed, Moore envisioned her role as editor as being inextricably linked to her literary career and to her own development as a poet.

Her editorial career was marked by an interest in conversations about literature and the arts carried on through correspondence. These letters, and the dialogues that they recorded, for Moore, remained inextricable from the poems themselves. Jayne E. Marek notes that “This delibrate impression of lively exchange underlined the importance of The Dial, so that even as Moore effaced herself as part of the journal’s staff, she asserted the journal’s importance within a contemporary exchange of ideas.”[38] While it remains difficult to doubt the importance of The Dial as a forum for cultural and artistic exchange, I’m intrigued by Marek’s suggestion that Moore regarded poetry as an extension of this kind of kind of lively exchange, almost as though one’s aesthetic judgments, and one’s response to the work of others, crystallizes in one’s own creative work. This certainly held true for Moore’s own poetry. As the editors of Moore’s Selected Letters note, her years at The Dial marked the beginning of many long correspondences, which came to shape her own poems in later years.[39]

It is in this interest in dialogue, conversation, and collaboration that one sees the enduring influence of Moore’s very early readings in Pragmatist philosophy, particularly James’ Psychology. James writes, for instance, “The constituents of the Me may be divided into two classes, those which make up respectively—The material me; The social me; and The spiritual me.”[40] This recognition of the individual subject as not being a unified whole, but rather a “social self,” constituted by the various rhetorics, narratives, and symbols that populated culture, seems a pervasive influence on Moore’s approach to editorial work. Her emphasis on dialogue, exchange, and lively discussion illuminating the individual voice, and the individual poet’s contribution to the literary landscape, appears almost as a translation of Pragmatist philosophy into the literary and artistic realm. Additionally, as Cristanne Miller notes, Moore followed not only James’ work, but also that of contemporaries like Gertrude Buck, whose work drew on James’ Psychology and theorized “rhetoric as an activity of social dependence and emotional interaction.”[41] This notion of the individual voice as being made possible by interaction within a community, and rhetoric as being “socially dependent,” also came to inform Moore’s interest in conversation and dialogue as a means to reveal aspects of the individual’s artistic practice.

Consider the work chosen by Moore for a 1928 issue of The Dial. Witter Bynner’s critical essay “Poetry and Culture” appears alongside two of his poems. Along these lines, Conrad Aiken’s poetry appears alongside his poetry criticism, a review of Wyndam Lewis entitled “Mr. Lewis and the Time-Beast.”[42] Moore’s enduring interest in the scholar-practitioner, and the ways that a poet’s approach to criticism can illuminate where their creative work falls in the literary landscape, spans many volumes of The Dial, as pairings of critical and creative work by the same writer remained relatively commonplace during Moore’s tenure as editor. This belief that we understand the individual subject through the conversation in which he or she engages certainly informed Moore’s editorial decisions, as The Dial served as a forum for conversation, a way of illuminating the individual self by documenting the cultural texts, symbols, and narratives that constitute his or her subjectivity. In many ways, one may understand Moore’s editorship as an effort to put James’ theories about the sociality of the self to practical, and arguably very creative, use.



Marianne Moore after The Dial, 1930-1944

As Cristanne Miller notes in Cultures of Modernism: Marianne Moore, Mina Loy, and Else Lacker-Schuler, Moore wrote no poetry during her tenure as editor of The Dial.[43] The experience of creating a forum for the contemporary arts, and hosting an ongoing conversation, would nonetheless prove a formative influence on her subsequent creative endeavors. After her years at The Dial, however, Moore found herself inhabiting a much different literary and cultural landscape. Miller elaborates, “Most of the little magazines with women in editorial positions during the 1920s were defunct by the 1930s. By World War II, few of the women poets of her generation continued to write, and they did so in relative isolation from one another.”[44] The central question for Moore, then, had to do with maintaining a poetics of conversity, of dialogue and exchange, in relative isolation from many of her female contemporaries. Alhtough Moore maintained correspondences with other writers, including William Carlos Williams, T. S. Eliot, and Elizabeth Bishop, the forums for the conversation she had envisioned, and hosted for a number of years, had become fewer.[45] Indeed, crucial components of the conversation to which Moore had been contributing seemed to have quickly dissipated.

Perhaps as a result of this relatively new compositional environment, critics like Robin G. Schultze have described her poems from this time period as “far more conventional,” as they perceive Moore as striving for “considerable symbolic and thematic unity.”[46] In my opinion, Moore still strived for a poetics of conversity during this period, envisioning the self as a social construct as per James’ writings in the field of psychology. As Moore deconstructed the boundaries between self and world, however, her focus changed, and she became keenly interested in the ways that popular texts, mass culture, and the newly popularized sciences shaped one’s sense of self. In many ways, this focus on mass culture and the popularization of scientific discoveries forms a sharp contrast with her earlier work, which focused more on questions of literary heritage, and the ways that the individual poet and her work exist in dialogue with other cultural producers. With that in mind, these changes in the literary landscape did not alter Moore’s poetics, but simply broadened the scope of her creative endeavors, prompting her to consider many aspects of culture, rather than focusing so much on purely literary exchanges.

Consider Moore’s “In This Age of Hard Trying, Nonchalance is Good And,”

‘really, it is not the
business of the gods to make clay pots.’ They did not
do it in this instance. A few
revolved upon the axes of their worth
as if excessive popularity might be a pot…[47]

This piece, excerpted from Moore’s 1935 Selected Poems, seamlessly weaves together Moore’s own words with text from multiple popular magazines. Linda Leveall correctly describes this poem as a veritable “collage” of quotations.[48] The reader is led to think that parts of the text are narrated in the poet’s own voice, particularly the title, only to discover that they are unattributed pieces of quoted material. Moore daringly suggests that her own voice is constituted by those of other cultural producers, with whom she exists in dialogue. Furthermore, she questions the distinction not only between self and world, but between high and low culture, suggesting that the two frequently blur together.

This focus on mass culture, and the ways that the individual subject exists in dialogue with it, may also be read as an engagement with James’ work, albeit in a different context than her editorial work at The Dial. Here we see Moore portraying the individual poet as not only a confluence of literary and artistic influences, as she did during her years at The Dial, but as a locus for many different types of rhetoric or language or discursive practices that circulate within culture. For Moore, the self is fundamentally social, and not just from an artistic standpoint. Moore had begun to envisoin the ways that cultural myths, narratives, and rhetorics are housed within consciousness itself, and manifest in even the most intellectual endeavors.

We also see Moore begin to question and revise James’ assertions about the mind during this period. Rather than simply engaging and applying his ideas, as one sees her doing during her tenure as editor of The Dial, Moore began to think critically about James’ assertions during this time period, using the resources of poetry to modify and refine them. Rather than envisioning an identity core, a truer self that exists apart from one’s being in society, Moore asserts through her poetry an argument for the social self as one’s only and truest self.

These ideas come across most visibly in Moore’s 1935 Selected Poems. Throughout the book, we are presented with speakers whose voices are a polyphony, constituted by fragments of high and low culture. For Moore, there is no identity core per se, but rather, the social self, the self that that exists in society, is all that we see, despite our having been afforded glimpses of these speaker’s most intimate thoughts and experiences. Here Mikhail Bakhin’s Marxism and the Philosophy of Language proves to be an especially useful framework for reading Moore. He describes this tension between disparate points of view, as embodied by different speech acts, tones, and idioms, as a way to register the torn and oppositional structure of the cultural milieu that the subject inhabits.[49] One frequently sees Moore portraying the subject as being torn, split, divided by the fragmentary culture that surrounds them. Consider Moore’s piece, “Camellia Sabina,”

The wine cellar? No.
It accomplishes nothing and makes the
soul heavy. The gleaning is more than the vintage, though the
history de la Vigne et du vin has placed
mirabelle in the bibliotheque
unique dupuis
(Close the window,
says the Abbe Berlese,
for Sabina born under glass.) O generous Bolanzo![50]

What’s striking about this passage is the fact that all of the events of the poem are narrated through the speaker’s voice, yet we are presented with multiple voices, perspectives, and registers. Moore’s poem retains a dialogic quality, as though the speaker’s consciousness exists as a conversation between parts of the self, or parts of consciousness. This idea comes across most visibly in the question and answer structure at the beginning of the quoted passage. As the piece unfolds, the dialogue that unfolds within the speaker’s consciousness begins to encompass multiple languages (English and French being prime examples), rhetorics (which range from the literary to the popular), and cultures. In many ways, Moore implies that the sociality of the self, and dialogic quality inherent in consciousness, transcends any single culture, remaining an indelible part of the human condition. Moreover, the individual subject cannot be described as a product of one culture or another, as the self exists as an amalgamation of multiple cultural landscapes, which overlap and intersect within the individual subject.

These same ideas surface in another piece from her Selected Poems entitled “To Statecraft Embalmed,”

There is nothing to be said for you. Guard
your secret. Conceal it under your hard
plumage, necromancer.
Bird, whose tents were “awnings of Egyptian
yarn,” shall Justices’ faint zigzag inscription—
leaning like a dancer—

Moore’s poem begins in a single voice, which is revealed as a polyphony as the piece unfolds. The individual voice is deconstructed, revealing its many constituent parts, which range from found language to literary language, mythologies, and scientific discoveries. For Moore, these fragments of culture make possible thought and expression, as the individual voice in isolation cannot be sustained. Although the poem begins with univocality, it cannot continue that way, as the subject’s voice must engage in dialogue with others in order to continue speaking, creating, and narrating.

In this respect, Moore’s challenge to James comes across most visibly. For James, the self consisted of several different components, which include the social self, the ideal social self, and the ideal self. The social self consisted of one’s outward behaviors while existing in society. In other words, the social self was the self as perceived by others. This social self should be distinguished from the ideal social self, which James defines as the self one aspires to while existing in society. He elaborates, “I am always inwardly strengthened in my course and steeled against the loss of my actual social self by the thought of other and better possible social judges whose verdict goes against me now. The ideal social self which I thus seek in appealing their decision may be very remote…”[52] Here James draws from the work of his contemporary, Charles Saunders Peirce, who understood social relations as a process of hypothesis testing, in which we learn from trial and error.[53] What’s important about this passage from James’ Psychology is that he differentiates between the actual results of this process of trial and error, and the results that the subject aspires to or knows himself or herself to be capable of attaining. In other words, James presents us with a subject whose being in society does not represent his or her only and truest self. Rather, the subject is divided, existing both in society and as a detached observer of his or her own social presence.

It is in this regard that Moore begins to depart from James’ original writings on the sociality of the self. As Suzanne Wintsch Churchill argues, “…for Moore, self-identification emerges through acts of reading and writing, social exchanges between herself and others, and imaginary conversations between poet and reader.”[54] Churchill rightly underscores that for Moore, the self remains fundamentally relational. It is the self that emerges through social relations that is one’s only and truest self. Consider Moore’s poem, “The Student,”

“In America,” began
the lecturer, “everyone must have a
degree. The French do not think that
all can have it, they don’t say everyone
must go to college.” We
incline to feel, here, that although it may be unnecessary

to know fifteen languages,
       one degree is not too much.[55]

This poem, pulled from Moore’s 1941 collection, What Are Years, seems characteristic of her work from this time period, particularly as it makes use of dialogue and non-literary found text. I’m fascinated by the way Moore structures the poem. The voices of others, particularly the lecturer at the beginning of the piece, serve as a point of entry into language and consciousness for the speaker. Indeed, Moore presents both language and consciousess as fundamentally dialogic, an ongoing conversation that we enter into. It is through this dialogue, this exchange, that the self is actualized. In many ways, poems like this one read as a sharp departure from James’ thinking, which presented the self as being at once participant in this dialogue and a detached observer. For Moore, however, there is no self apart from society.

These revisions of James’ philosophical argument about the self become even more prominent when considering his writings on the ideal self. Richard M. Gale writes of James’ notion of the ideal self that it is a merely possible self, one of higher moral standing than the social self.[56] This notion of the self as divided seems at odds with Moore’s work, which presents the self as being fluid, constantly changing as one interacts with society. For Moore, the self is not divided, but rather, one exists at the intersection of various ideas, rhetorics, and discourses. What’s remarkable about Moore’s work is that she rarely offers moral judgments regarding the language that circulates within society, but rather, seeks to dismantle hierarchies that James has propagated, particularly as he presents morality, and the ideal self, as being somewhat separate from society. This idea comes across visibly in “The Student,” as Moore presents academic language as being no more valuable than the speaker’s more colloquial observations. This dismantling of hierarchies, amongst various types of language, and various facets of the self, is perhaps one of the most remarkable aspects of Moore’s poetry. In poems like “The Student,” different registers exist in dialogue with one another, and it is this dialogue, this relationality, that is both ideal and essential. After all, how can a more moral self exist than the self that inhabits society? For Moore, this is an impossibility, and here one sees her most drastic revision of James’ Psychology.


Moore as Curator, 1916-1944

As Moore began to question and refine James’ beliefs about the sociality of the self, her interest in curatorial endeavors increasingly informed her poetry. As Victoria Bazin observes, “Moore enjoyed shopping and was always very fashion conscious. In her letters from Bryn Mawr she is often found prevaricating about clothes.”[57] Bazin correctly underscores Moore’s interest in the material artifacts of culture, particularly the ways in which these objects provide a point of entry to shared cultural beliefs and values. Although Moore had always expressed an interest in curatorial endeavors, from her Bryn Mawr correspondence onward, I believe that this influence is most prominent in, and crucial to understanding, her later work.

Moore frequently drew from this culture of curation that pervaded Modernist art and literature as she continued to engage with ideas from James’ writings in psychology. As Jeremy Braddock notes in Collecting as Modernist Practice, poets and artists alike became increasingly concerned with the ways in which “social agencies…are seen as deliberately interposed between reality and social consciousness…to prevent an understanding of reality.”[58] The relationship between the work of art and the mind, and the myriad was that this relationship was mediated, became increasingly visible in the poems of Moore and contemporaries like Lowell, Pound, and Eliot. Indeed, curation itself became a metaphor for the mind, which Moore understood as an arrangement of artifacts, symbols, and fragmentary narratives. As Karin Roffman argues in From the Modernist Annex: American Women Writers in Museums and Libraries, much of Moore’s thinking about curation was informed by Benjamin Ives Gilman’s writings on museums, which present curated collections as places that that should foster discovery and intellectual inquiry on the part of the spectator. Roffman elaborates,

Through this research Moore focuses on ideas for discovering ways to organize knowledge consciously and carefully without resorting to a system that limits possibilities for a visitor to discover something unexpected or unknown within it. This search is driven by both her intellectual interests in the organization of knowledge and her very personal desire to produce a book that participates in this process positively.[59]

Roffman provides insight into the way that Moore envisioned the human mind. For Moore, the mind itself is a museum, the individual subject being the curator. In this respect, Moore’s interest in curatorial endeavors also provided an innovative framework for her engagement with James’ psychology.

Rather than envisioning the individual subject as split, in effect torn between the values of society (the “social self” that James envisioned) and a greater moral purpose (the “ideal self” that James suggests is frequently undermined by society), Moore envisioned the subject as having greater agency and unity. Throughout much of her later poetry, Moore presents the subject as having some degree of control over which texts, symbols, and narratives are housed within the museum of the mind. Additionally, because conscious experience is to some degree curatorial, Moore envisioned the mind as an essentially cohesive collection of cultural artifacts, narratives, and ephemera. Consider “Nevertheless,” a piece culled from her 1944 collection, Nevertheless,

you’ve seen a strawberry
that’s had a struggle; yet
was, where the fragments met,

a hedgehog or a star-
fish for the multitude
of seeds…[60]

What’s revealing about this passage is the fact that Moore turns to the strawberry as a metaphor for the mind. In much the same way that the strawberry has “had a struggle,” being ravaged by the elements, she still envisions it as a place where “the fragments meet.” I’m intrigued by this notion of the mind as a place where fragments of nature, culture, and history are given form, shape, and coherence. In many ways, Moore suggests that the mind is a site of unification, a place where fragments, and the detritus of culture, are woven together through narrative. The self is no longer divided, as James suggests in Psychology: The Briefer Course. Rather, the mind is what gives coherence to the world around us, the society that shapes us.

When revisiting James’ Psychology, one can see just how substantial a departure this viewpoint is from his original schematic. He frequently describes the “social self” as being somewhat separate from the truer, more authentic “ideal self.” Consider this passage,

Not only the people but the places and things I know enlarge my Self in a sort of metaphoric, social way. “Ca me connait,” the French workman says of the implement he can use well. So it comes that persons whose opinion we care nothing for are persons whose notice we woo; and that many a man truly great, many a woman truly fastidious in most respects, will take a deal of trouble to dazzle some cad whose whole personality they heartily despise.[61]

Here the separation between what James terms the “social self” and what modern psychologists would call a “core identity” comes across visibly.[62] For James, the self remains a site of division and contention. What’s subversive about Moore’s presentation of James’ philosophical claims is that she not only presents the social self as being one’s only and truest self, but this allows the subject to become a site of synthesis, coherence, and the creation of meaning. It is in the individual subject that cultural detritus is curated, but also placed in context, and woven together through the ongoing creation of narrative in the individual consciousness. With that in mind, Moore argues against James’ conception of a divided self, presenting instead a social self that is a site of unification, creation, and synthesis.


VII. Marianne Moore, Her Later Poems, and Elizabeth Bishop

Marianne Moore first met Elizabeth Bishop in 1934 while a librarian at Vassar College. This initial meeting led to what became a lifelong friendship and dialogue, as both Bishop and Moore persistently tried to understand one another in the years that followed.[63] They regularly exchanged letters, helping one another modify and refine their practice. With that in mind, I believe that their friendship proved especially influential for Moore’s later work and her thinking about psychology, William James, and the human mind. As Moore continued to engage with Bishop’s poetry, and interact with her on a personal level, one sees yet another shift in her presentation of Jamesian psychology. Under Bishop’s influence, she began to question not only the possibility of a self apart from society, but also the idea of originality, as well as the supposed uniqueness of the individual self.

In her influential study, Elizabeth Bishop and Marianne Moore: The Psychodynamics of Creativity, Joanne Feit Diehl notes that as the two women exchanged poems, Bishop frequently modified and refined Moore’s psychological ideas within her own poems. Diehl marvels, for example, at “how well [Bishop] modifies Moore’s psychological paradigms and rhetorical structures to accommodate her difference.”[64] In my opinion, Bishop’s efforts to question and interrogate Moore’s claims about Jamesian psychology, and Moore’s efforts to refine them, seem most visible in the poems themselves, particularly “The Paper Nautilus.” Although Kathryn R. Kent reads Moore’s “The Paper Nautilus” as part of a dialogue with Bishop about queer subjectivity, a conversation that she claims initiated with Moore’s well-known poem “An Octopus,” I do not believe that the two possibilities (psychology and identity politics) are mutually exclusive.[65] Here we see Moore engaging marginal identities within the framework of James’ writings on the sociality of the self. Bishop, in essence, prompts Moore to appropriate James’ psychological paradigm for subversive ends.

Moore writes in “The Paper Nautilus,”

For authorities whose hopes are shaped by mercenaries?   Writers entrapped by   teatime fame and bycommuters’ comforts? Not for these   the paper nautilus   constructs her thin glass shell.    Giving her perishablesouvenir of hope, a dull   white outside and smooth-   edged inner surfaceglossy as the sea, the watchful   maker of it guards it   day and night; she scarcely    eats until the eggs are hatched.Buried eight-fold in her eight   arms, for she is in   a sense a devil-fish, her glass ram’shorn-cradled freight   is hid but is not crushed..


Moore presents queer identity within the context of the kind of interrelatedness that we see within Jamesian psychology. When read within the context of her friendship with Elizabeth Bishop, we see that Bishop has emboldened Moore to appropriate Jamesian conceptual frameworks for purposes that he likely never imagined. I’m fascinated by the ways in which this appropriation has led Moore to question even the uniqueness, and the isolation, of the marginalized individual. Just as the speaker of this poem hides her true identity from others, constructing a “thin glass shell” around herself, Moore envisions the marginalized individual as both concealing identity and creating identity through the subversive appropriation of culture. In much the same way that the creature in the poem constructs her hermitage out of found materials, so too the marginalized individual repurposes fragments of culture to forge a sense of self. Indeed, Moore makes the parallels between the sea creature and the writer clear from the beginning, as she cautions “writers entrapped by teatime fame” from proceeding any farther.

When examining Moore and Bishop’s correspondence from the early 1940s, the influence wielded by Bishop becomes even clearer. Bishop prompted Moore to ask how one may inhabit and engage culture, to think of the self as a social entity, even as an outsider within that culture. Within the letters, Moore and Bishop present themselves as being detached observers of society, particularly as Bishop states, “”you and I see what others carelessly overlook.” Yet at the same time, the two women recognize themselves as fundamentally intertwined with culture, exchanging critiques of museum exhibits and copies of such periodicals as the Quarterly Review of Literature.[67] In many ways, Bishop prompted Moore to further refine the inquiry guiding her practice as a poet, particularly as she sought to reconcile her outsider status and her belief in the self as social, consciousness being essentially dialogic in nature.



Marianne Moore is undoubtedly a multifaceted and complex poet, but her engagement with James’ writings in the field of psychology has proven as consistent as it is innovative and subversive. Yet one also observes a progression within her work and her thinking about Jamesian psychology. In her early Bryn Mawr years, we see a young poet enthralled by some of the most exciting and contemporary theories about the human mind and its relation to society as a whole. Moore’s close, even privileged, relationship with members of the James family without a doubt fueled this emerging interest in understanding and representing the human mind. Yet in her later years, we see this interest in Jamesian psychology intersect with, and be tempered by, her work in other fields: editing, curatorial endeavors, and her friendships with other poets of her time, most notably Elizabeth Bishop.

Indeed, Moore quickly began refining James’ original claims, an impulse that began perhaps as early as her years at The Dial. During this time, we see Moore seeking not necessarily to replicate James’ ideas about consciousness as being dialogic, and the sociality of the self, but rather, to apply these ideas in real world scenarios. Consider the magazine’s ongoing dialogues between contributors, who wrote into the magazine, and its efforts to situate creative work in the context of that writer’s literary and artistic influences. In many ways, the magazine may be read as an effort to reveal each work, each writer, as interconnected, a fundamentally social entity. While this concept echoes much of Jamesian psychology, Moore’s application of these ideas to editorial work is truly novel and innovative.

Along these lines, Moore’s work in other disciplines led her to refine her thinking about Jamesian psychology, opening up new possibilities for conceptualizing the human mind in relation to culture. We see Moore seeking to reconcile James’ ideas with writings about museum organization, planning, and curation. For Moore, this research and interdisciplinarity opened up the possibility of thinking of the mind as a curatorial endeavor, a museum of texts, narratives, and fragments of culture. Here we see Moore questioning the divided self James’ envisioned, in which the social self remains somewhat separate from the true or ideal self. Rather, Moore presents the self as a site where fragments of culture gain continuity, the self being essentially a site of synthesis and the generation of narrative. Moore, in effect, sought to reconcile Jamesian psychology with her work in other disciplines, using this interdisciplinary research to refine her thinking about conscious experience.

Finally, Moore transitioned to melding James’ work with work in other disciplines to creative, even subversive, appropriation. During her later years, especially in her correspondence with Elizabeth Bishop, one observes her application of Jamesian psychology to questions of queer subjectivity and marginal identities. With that in mind, Moore presents us with a substantial engagement with, and revision of, James’ work, which proves just as multifaceted and polyvocal as the poems themselves.

One observes James’ influence on literature and poetics extending into the twentieth and twenty-first century, particularly as Kenneth Burke, Wallace Stevens, Gertrude Stein, Robert Frost, W.E.B. DuBois, and Ralph Ellison would encounter his work. As Andrew Epstein notes in Beautiful Enemies, this pragmatist influence would come through James’ own work as well through literary luminaries like Moore.[68] While earlier figures in the Transcendentalist movement, particularly Ralph Waldo Emerson, must be credited with disseminating Jamesian psychology to poets and fiction writers, Moore’s work remains unique in that she opened up possibilities for engaging (and interrogating) philosophical ideas through subtle stylistic choices, rather than in the content of the work in the traditional sense.




[1] For specific examples, see Cristanne Miller’s Marianne Moore: Questions of Authority (page 113), Victoria Bazin’s Marianne Moore and the Cultures of Modernity (page 26), Bart Eeckhout’s Wallace Stevens and the Limits of Reading and Writing (page 24), and Robin G. Schultz’s The Degenerate Muse (page 33), among many others.

[2] Stacy Carson Hubbard. “Marianne Moore: Poetry, Painting, Photography.” Critics and Poets on Marianne Moore: “A Right Good Salvo of Barks” (Lewiston: Bucknell University Press, 2005), 122.

[3] Victoria Bazin. Marianne Moore and the Cultures of Modernity (New York: Ashgate Publishing, 2013), 27.

[4] Marianne Moore. Complete Poems (Penguin Books, 1994), 71.

[5] Marianne Moore. “The Hero.” The Poetry Foundation. January 25 2015. <!/20578535>

[6] Ibid, 8 and 224.

[7] Marianne Moore. “Humility, Concentration, and Gusto.” The Complete Prose of Marianne Moore. Ed. Patricia C. Willis (New York: Viking, 1986), 420-421.

[8] Lesley Wheeler. The Poetics of Enclosure: American Women Poets from Dickinson to Dove (Knoxville: University Press of Tennessee, 2002), 44.

[9] Joseph Alkana. The Social Self: Hawthorne, Howells, William James, and Nineteenth Century Psychology (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1996), 118.

[10] Ewa Plonowska Ziarek. Feminist Aesthetics and the Politics of Modernism (New York: Columbia University Press, 2013).

[11] Victoria Bazin. Marianne Moore and the Cultures of Modernity (New York: Ashgate Publishing, 2013), 31.

[12] Ibid, 31.

[13] Marianne Moore. Selected Letters (New York: Penguin, 1998), 38.

[14] Ibid, 28.

[15] Victoria Bazin. Marianne Moore and the Cultures of Modernity (New York: Ashgate Publishing, 2013), 31.

[16] Linda Leveall. Holding On Upside Down: The Life and Work of Marianne Moore (New York: MacMillan, 2013) 86.

[17] Marianne Moore. Becoming Marianne Moore: The Early Poems, 1907-1924 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002), 334.

[18] Linda Leveall. Holding On Upside Down: The Life and Work of Marianne Moore (New York: MacMillan, 2013) 85.

[19] William James. The Will to Believe: And Other Essays in Popular Philosophy (New York: Longmans, Green, and Company), 180.

[20] Bernhard Greiner. “Constructions of Interiority around 1800.” Rethinking Emotion: Interiority and Exteriority in Premodern, Modern, and Contemporary Thought (New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2014), 143.

[21] William James. The Will to Believe: And Other Essays in Popular Philosophy (New York: Longmans, Green, and Company), 11.

[22] Cristanne Miller. Marianne Moore: Questions of Authority (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1995), 65.

[23] Linda Leveall. Holding On Upside Down: The Life and Work of Marianne Moore (New York: MacMillan, 2013) 87.

[24] Cristanne Miller. Marianne Moore: Questions of Authority (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1995), 10.

[25] Marianne Moore. Becoming Marianne Moore: The Early Poems, 1907-1924 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002), 7.

[26] Ibid, 342.

[27] Jeff Schaller. “The Genuine Ethics of Marianne Moore.” The University of Illinois Urbana-Champagne. 6 September 2014. <>

[28] William James. Psychology: The Briefer Course (New York: Courier Dover Publications, 2012), 224.

[29] Marianne Moore. The Complete Poems (New York: Penguin, 1994), 19.

[30] Sandra M. Gilbert. No Man’s Land: The Place of the Woman Writer in the Twentieth Century (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994), 105.

[31] William James. Psychology: The Briefer Course (New York: Courier Dover Publications, 2012), 11.

[32] Jayne E. Marek. Women Editing Modernism: “little” Magazines and Literary History (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1995), 138.

[33] Suzanne Wintsch Churchill. The Little Magazine Others and the Renovation of Modern American Poetry (New York: Ashgate Publishing, 2006), 135.

[34] “Notes on Contributors.” The Dial. Ed. Scofield Thayer (New York: The Dial Press, 1920), 410.

[35] Cary Nelson. The Oxford Handbook of Modern and Contemporary Poetry (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012), 164.

[36] “A Publication Biography.” Marianne Moore. Becoming Marianne Moore: The Early Poems, 1907-1924. Ed. Robyn G. Schulze. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002), 437.

[37] Linda Leveall. Holding On Upside Down: The Life and Work of Marianne Moore (New York: Macmillan, 2013), 232.

[38] Jayne E. Marek. Women Editing Modernism: “little” Magazines and Literary History (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1995), 141.

[39] Marianne Moore. Selected Letters (New York: Penguin, 1998), 121.

[40] William James. Psychology: The Briefer Course (New York: Courier Dover Publications, 2012), 44.

[41] Cristanne Miller. Marianne Moore: Questions of Authority (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1995), 66.

[42] Marianne Moore, Ed. The Dial, vol. 85 (The Dial Press, 1928), ii-iv.

[43] Cristanne Miller. Cultures of Modernity: Marianne Moore, Mina Loy, and Else-Lacker Schuler (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2007), 44.

[44] Cristanne Miller. Marianne Moore: Questions of Authority (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1995), 122.

[45] Anne George and Jack Selzer. Kenneth Burke in the 1930s (Charlottesville: University of South Carolina Press, 2007). 34.

[46] “Introduction.” Robin G. Schultze. Becoming Marianne Moore: The Early Poems, 1907-1924 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002), 9.

[47] Marianne Moore. The Complete Poems (New York: Penguin, 1994), 34.

[48] Suzanne Wintsch Churchill. The Little Magazine Others and the Renovation of Modern American Poetry (New York: Ashgate Publishing, 2006), 157.

[49] Mikhail Bakhtin, Marxism and the Philosophy of Language (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1986), 40.

[50] Marianne Moore. The Complete Poems (New York: Penguin, 1994), 18.

[51] Marianne Moore. The Complete Poems (New York: Penguin, 1994), 35.

[52] William James. Psychology: The Briefer Course (New York: Courier Dover Publications, 2012), 58-59.

[53] Steve Odin. The Social Self in Zen and American Pragmatism (Albany: SUNY Press, 1996), 153.

[54] Suzanne Witsch Churchill. The Little Magazine Others and the Renovation of Modern American Poetry (New York: Ashgate Publishing, 2006), 136.

[55] Marianne Moore. Complete Poems (New York: Penguin, 1994), 101.

[56] Richard M. Gale. The Divided Self of William James (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 40.

[57] Victoria Bazin. Marianne Moore and the Cultures of Modernity (New York: Ashgate Publishing, 2013), 99.

[58] Jeremy Braddock. Collecting as Modernist Practice (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012), 5.

[59] Karin Roffman. From the Modernist Annex: American Women Writers in Museums and Libraries (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2010), 110.

[60] Marianne Moore. Complete Poems (New York: Penguin, 1994), 125.

[61] William James. Psychology: The Briefer Course (New York: Courier Dover Publications, 2012), 52.

[62] Michael Washburn. Transpersonal Psychology in Psychoanalytic Perspective (Albany: SUNY Press, 1993), 213.

[63] Gary Fountain. Remembering Elizabeth Bishop: An Oral Biography (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1996), 57.

[64] Joanne Feit Diehl. Elizabeth Bishop and Marianne Moore: The Psychodynamics of Creativity (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993), 57.

[65] Kathryn R. Kent. Making Girls Into Women: American Women’s Writing and the Rise of Lesbian Identity (Durhman: Duke University Press, 2003), 210.

[66] Marianne Moore. The Paper Nautilus. Academy of American Poets. 19 September 2014. <>

[67] Lynn Keller. “The Bishop/Moore Correspondence.” University of Illinois Urbana-Champagne. 19 September 2014. <>

[68] Andrew Epstein, Beautiful Enemies: Friendship and Postwar American Poetry (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006), 53-54.