資料彙整   /   作家  /  Marianne  Moore  瑪利安˙莫爾
Marianne  Moore
瑪利安˙莫爾
圖片來源:www.nndb.com/people/ 580/000099283/
主要文類:Poem
資料提供者:Fr.Pierre E.Demers/談德義神父;Julia Hsieh/謝佩璇
關鍵字詞:American Literature 20th Century Modern Period

瑪利安.莫爾


1887-1972

Julia Hsieh/謝佩璇
 
 生平簡介
 她的著名代表作品
 

 生平簡介
 
一、家庭及教育背景
   

一八八七年十一月十五日 ,瑪利安.莫爾出生於密蘇里州的克爾克伍德市。其父為約翰.米爾頓.莫爾,其母為瑪莉.華納。莫爾一生未曾與其父謀面,在身為建築工程師和業餘的發明家父親精神崩潰並長居麻塞諸瑟州的精神療養院之後,莫爾家由母親瑪莉和外祖父-約翰.里德.華納長老教會牧師-與其兄約翰.華納.莫爾一同成長於外祖父家。華納牧師十分疼愛兩個外孫,尤其對於瑪利安,他在各個方面鼓勵外孫女發展興趣,在莫爾幼年時期便鼓勵其寫作與閱讀。由於受到外祖父的影響,莫爾家兄妹在安全慈愛的家庭環境下成長。外祖父過世後,莫爾家搬遷至賓州匹茲堡,爾後又遷於沙力索市,莫爾其後在於邁茲格爾學院畢業並在一九○九年於布里恩摩爾學院完成教育,獲得生物及歷史雙學位。莫爾求學時期便展現其文學長才,其作品屢屢在學校刊物中出現。詩作一如「水母」充分表現她的敏銳的觀察力和寫實的呈現自然及其他主題。莫爾之後再前往沙力索商務學院學習商務技術,這項技能協助她日後接受在沙力索市的美國印第安學校裡的教職,成為一名出色稱職的教師。

長達四年的教育工作之後,莫爾出版第一本詩集《詩與其它》並搬到紐澤西州的查登市。在這本詩集中收錄有「給行進中的靈魂」及其它多首詩,也同時開啟她與文藝界緊密的接觸。 莫爾與其母在其兄約翰的住所停留直到一次世界大戰爆發,約翰成為軍隊隨行牧師而莫爾帶著母親再遷居曼哈頓,以作為家庭教師及秘書謀生。
 
二、詩壇新星
   


一九二○年,莫耳在《刻度盤》以及其它文學期刊上發表更多作品,也因此成功的引起較廣泛的注意,成為當代文壇的一個新星。其後五年間,她在紐約市立圖書館工作,在一九二一年出版的詩集和一九二四年出版的《觀察》讓她獲獎並於兩年後參與《刻度盤》的編輯工作。

在曼哈頓生活近十年的莫爾在《刻度盤》的編輯工作告終並結束發行之後,再度上路搬遷至布魯克林繼續她自由作家、詩人及評論的工作。一九四五年莫爾獲得古根漢創作獎學金並且正式踏進翻譯領域。自一九五一年到一九五三年,她先後獲得三個文學大獎的肯定,分別為:國家書卷獎、普立茲文學獎以及布立金文學獎。 當代的文學評論員約翰.艾須貝禮視她為「最偉大的詩人」;珊卓拉.哈克曼高度讚揚她的詩,認為她謹慎地用字遣詞並且在詩中隱含有提醒讀者尊敬自然、動物等,並且藉讀詩以深切反省的提示,都足以顯示她有著高貴的情操。

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 她的著名代表作品

莫爾的作品主要出現在一九二○年代。一九二一年,她的《詩集》出版並且讓文壇驚艷,也讓讀者見識到她的文采與幽默,她作品的獨特風格以及超然的觀察力在她的詩作中可見一般,以「詩」與「評論與鑑賞家」 特別點出她對藝術與文學的審美觀點。另一本詩集《觀察》中收錄有著名的「婚姻」一詩。值得一提的是,由於她的作品在《刻度盤》大量曝光,文人雅士如艾略特、艾 滋若.龐德和威廉.卡羅.威廉斯等人也 成為她的交遊圈內益友。在莫爾的《莫爾詩選》中,艾略特稱讚她詩中精確的文詞,使她詩中的意象鮮明、寓意匪淺。一九三六年, 《 穿山甲 》與《詩 文 集》 出版。莫爾的文學聲望立足於她詩中精闢的用字以及細膩的描繪人物、動物 ,也因此另一本詩集《 何謂 年?》 在一九四一年問世,並讓讀者更加體認莫爾對自然的體會和啟示令她屢屢以生物為詩作的題材中創作出發人內自省的作品。

到了一九四○年代,莫爾已然成為當代富盛名的詩人。一九四四年出版的《縱然》收錄知名引發爭議的「對所謂真相的不信任」。於此詩中,莫爾傳達對於反對戰爭的立場,並且對人性的黑暗面有深刻的批判。當時的評論再度對於她尖銳而鞭辟入裡的批評用字表示推崇,也特別注意到她字裡行間的強烈對比以及詩文中的深刻諷刺。在重新編排選取的《莫爾詩選》出版之後,她獲得普立茲與國家書卷獎的肯定。並且在一九五四年,莫爾終於如願完成並出版她的首部翻譯作品-《泉的傳說》。

莫爾除了作品出名之外,她習慣性的修改訂正她舊作的動作也為人所津津樂道。在她稍後出版的詩選集錦中,一九六七年的《莫爾全集》裡,令人乍舌地,她將著名的「詩」修改由三十一行分析入裡的詩文刪減到一首三行詩。儘管各界對於她此舉感到驚愕和失望,她堅定的認為自己的修訂是別具意義而勢在必行的。

正當一些詩評批論莫爾在詩中採取遠觀、 無性別的角度而寫成的無論及性的詩作時,另一群評論認為她的詩讓人質疑她是否應被視為女性主義詩人。從一方面來看,詩評認為她從未在作品中揭露性,可能避性而不談的堅持,使她成為一個順服社會詳細檢視女性的絕佳式範。但另外一些詩評從另一個面向來看,則認為莫爾及其作品與女性議題息息相關,並對於兩性平等話題多所著墨。伯納.恩格就舉證在「彼得」一詩中,莫爾在字裡行間暗諷天主教廷遲遲不願任命賦予女性神職人員權力的性別歧視;此外,塔妃.馬汀也視莫爾詩作中的施力有助於她以詩中的女性特質全然地掌握詩的流暢與詩中女性人物的自由。儘管如此,莫爾的詩給予當代與現今的讀者的影響與刺激足以使她的詩超越時間空間,持續的引人討論、發人深省。

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Marianne Moore
1887-1972
Julia Hsieh/謝佩璇
 
 Biographic Sketch

 Her Works

 Marianne Moore's Poetry

 

 


 Biographic Sketch

A. Family Background and Education

Marianne Moore was born on November 15, 1887 in Kirkwood , Missouri , to John Milton Moore and Mary Warner. John Moore was a construction engineer and inventor that kept his works of invention until the years he failed and mentally broke down; after that, he was hospitalized in Massachusetts. Moore, who has never met her father, grew up with her elder brother John Warner Moore, her mother and grandfather, John Riddle Warner, a well-learnt Presbyterian pastor. The affectionate Pastor Warner had great influence on his granddaughter, which made Moore start writing at a very young age. She cultivated her immense interests in many subjects due to the elderly's encouragement. After the grandfather's death, Mrs. Moore moved to Pittsburgh then Charlisle in Pennsylvania , and when Moore finished her schooling at Metzger Institute, she continued her education in Bryn Mawr College where she got her bachelor degree in both biology and histology in 1909. While she was still in school, Moore contributed her prose and poetry to school magazine. By then, her published poetry like "A Jellyfish" has shown her styles of piquant observation and realistic description about the nature and the subject of her works. The following year Moore enrolled Carlisle Commercial College and learned business skills that later became the subjects she taught in U.S. Industrial Indian School at Carlisle where she remained an admirable teacher for four years. Before she moved to Chatham , New Jersey , Moore made her poems, such as "To the Soul of Progress" and many others, to a serious publication – Poetry and Other – and hence began her close contact with literary society. There in her brother John Moore's house, Moore and her mother stayed together and kept the house until John left for World War I to serve as chaplain. Moore , again, along with her mother moved to Manhattan where Moore supported herself and her mother as a secretary and a private tutor.

B. The Career of a Writer


By the year 1920, Moore published some poems and aroused attention in Dial. She became recognized as a new innovator of her generation with her poems appeared in many literary periodicals. She then worked for New York Public Library for five years. After Poems (1921) and Observation (1924), she received Dial Award, and then she began to be involved in the editing for Dial two years later. After living in Manhattan for eleven years, Moore and her mother moved to Brooklyn when Dial discontinued and set about her career as a free-lance poet, writer and reviewer. In 1945, she received Guggenheim Fellowship in creative writing and further engaged herself to the realm of translation. From 1951 to 1953, she gained acknowledgement from three major awards in the States: National Book Award, Pulitzer Prize and Bollingen Prize. Critics of her time like John Ashbery deem ed her "the greatest modern poet" and Sandra Hochman highly appreciated her language that not merely is designed carefully, but contains riddles which makes the readers reflect and respect the nature, the animal and the theme and issues Moore has brought up.

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 Her Works

Moore 's major works appeared approximately in 1920s. In 1921, Poems made it to the market and enlightened and introduced Moore 's humor to the readers of the time. Her unique styles and extraordinary observation can be perceived through the verses of her poems; among which, "Poetry" and "Critics and Connoisseurs" especially represented her perspectives and aesthetics when it comes to art and literature. Her next collections of poems Observation included her prominent poem "Marriage." With her poems consecutively published by Dial , she gained acquaintance with quite a few famous literati of her time, such as T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound and William Carlos Williams. In the introduction of Moore 's Selected Poems (1935), T.S. Eliot praised the strengths of the precise and exquisite language in her poems. The very next year, The Pangolin and Other Verse appeared. Moore 's reputation of her effort in observation and precision in depicting the animal with her careful chosen diction was certified, for in this volume of poems and the next What Are Years (1941), the reader can find that the poetess chooses animals as her constant themes of poetry entries.

In 1940s, Moore was a well-received poetess whose works have been highly appreciated. Nevertheless , the collections of poems that came out in 1944, contained the noted and reflecting "In Distrust of Merits" in which Moore condemned the war and expressed her abomination toward the dark side of humanity that brings on war. At that time, critics gave her credit of her prudence over the precision of her language, with which she has endeavored to condense many meanings into one word. She is known for being deliberated on her words, with contrast and comparison or irony in verses. Her works were rearranged and selected to make Selected Poems (1951) that won her the Pulizer Prize and a National Book Award in the same year. And finally in 1954, Moore 's long work on the translation piece Fables of La Fontaine was finished and published.

Moore was also known for her fervency in reworking and revising her own works. In her later publication of poetry collection, such as Complete Poems (1967), she astonished the readers and the critics with an adamant and major revision on her famous Poetry: she practically changed this substantial and significant thirty-one line poem into a three-line one. Despite that the readers were astounded and the critics were amazed and disappointed, the poetess was ascertained of her crucial omission on her work.

Some critics of Moore 's time condemned her stance of sexless and distant position in composing her poems whereas others doubted her apparent strong feminist voice actually evaded sexuality, which in fact made her a conflicting image of a feminist. On the one hand, critics have regarded Moore 's avoiding the revelation of sexuality as an indication that has made her a good specimen demonstrating reinforcement of social scrutinization on women. On the other hand, other (feminist) critics defended for Moore and justified her writing in concern with women issues and gender equality. In fact, critic like Bernard F. Engal found proof in poems like "Peter" which he pointed out "[T]he poem has been read as a feminist attack on Catholicism's failure to ordain women" (45); in addition, as Taffy Martin demonstrated Moore's stance of writing with the strength (or the "muscle" which Moore once revealed in a foreword), and that "muscle" helped her compose her works with "the feminine temperament of the poems controlled their freedom absolutely" (140). All in all, even though the controversy of her stance, the insight and inspirational poems that she has enlightened the readers shall make her works remain an everlasting worthy reading poems.

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 Marianne Moore's Poetry

In Honor and Memory of Fr. Pierre Demers  (談德義神父 1921 - 2002)

 

Concepts

She belonged to no school of philosophy but her mind was naturally religious and for her, as for T.S. Eliot, there was no satisfactory explanation of the world without transcendence. The world and all the creatures in it are a wonder, though often desecrated by man, and the very wonder leads the mind upwards towards eternal values. She would say:The power of the visible is the invisible.She belonged to the tradition of Blake for whom imagination was the faculty that could perceive the invisible beyond the visible. But for Blake the invisible to other men was a blinding light to him; to Marianne Moore it is only a hint, a suggestion. Her poems give all their most attractive lines to the visible, and find in the close observation of details indications of a reality behind them.Rigoristsbrings details on the reindeer, even the number of miles it can run in an hour, but it ends up with innuendoes that for the Alaskan Eskimos the reindeer is a more fitting symbol of the Savior than the lamb of God. In the very shape of the pangolin she sees suggestion of a Gothic Cathedral and by implication, the world of faith, hope and charity.

What the poet thus sees with his imagination is objectively real. She was a literalist of the imagination; looking at the details of the world, at toads her imagination could see them as part of the eternal garden in which they had their place, their meaning, and thus their beauty. Each one is a color of the prism reflecting original light.

Let the reader who wishes follow her in all her visions; if he doesn’t there’s enough of nature and beauty in her poems to satisfy him. Wallace Stevens and William Carlos Williams for whom the invisible was nonsense, were great admirers of her. So was T.S. Eliot for whom transcendance was all.

Diction

Her concepts were nothing new; her technique was. Her contribution to modern poetry is her use of words. Her diction shifts with ease from everyday words and turns of phrase to sudden scientific terms and classical expressions. InRigoristsshe ways that the reindeer hasa neck like edelweiss or lion’s foot,leontopodium more exactly.InThe Pangolinthis near artichoke is Leonardo’s, da Vinci’s replica. She delighted not only in her own words, but in the words of others she had read or heard, and she quoted freely, careful in inserting her quotations between inverted commas, giving the exact references in notes at the end of her poems.I’ve always felt that if a thing had been said in the very best way, how can you say it better.For her words, her own or others’, had the power of unifying the most disparate experiencewhat one had read, seen, heard, felt, or thought.

Rhyme

The early poems use rhymes quite frequently; the later ones only occasionally and for special effect, like giving a solid core to a stanza. When her rhymes were frequent, Marianne Moore deliberately alternated unstressed, unimportant words with stressed, important ones. In an early poem calledThe Fishshe writes:

Opening  and shutting itself like

an

Injured fan.

Whereanrhyming withfan is slurred over as a grammatical connection rather than a word carrying meaning. Sometimes she would rhyme a stressed syllable with an unstressed one, as inAn Egyptian Pulled Glass Bottle…:

                                                     the fish

Whose scales turn aside the sun’s sword with their

                                polish.

More remarkably, and to the annoyance of many of her critics, she would split a word at the end of the line in order to form rhyme with an inside syllable of a word.In the Days of Prismatic Colourabounds in such tricks:

                                                     that all

truth must be dark. Principally throat, sophistication is as it always has been

or,

                                at the antipodes from the initial great truths.Part of it was crawling, part of it was about to crawl….

Instead of alternating stressed and unstressed syllables as in traditional meter, Marianne Moore rather uses stressed and unstressed rhymes.

Mind and Craft

The selection of Marianne Moore’s poetry offered in this Study Guide covers her life’s work.Poetryis one of her early poems which appeared in Poems of 1921.An Egyptian Pulled Glass Bottle . . .belongs to Observations (1924);In the Days of Prismatic Colour,”“No Swan So Fine,andThe Frigate Pelicanto Selected Poems (1935);The Pangolinto The Pangolin and Other Verse (1936);Rigoristswas written in 1940, andIn Distrust of Meritsin 1944.

The selections are arranged according to topics.PoetryandIn the Days of Prismatic Colourdeal with the art of poetry;An Egyptian Pulled Glass BottleandNo Swan So Finewith good and bad art;The Frigate Pelican,”“The Pangolin,andRigoristswith animals;In Distrust of Meritsdeals directly with man’s guilt in war. It is her most popular poem and she was asked to read it in all her public readings.

Tone

The effect of all these innovations, combining the ordinary word with the learned, the unstressed rhyme with the strongly stressed, the syllable count, is to create a tone of careful, fastidious conversation of a lady who has seen much, heard much, read much, thought much, and wishes to be as precise, as accurate as possible, in communicating her experience. Whether Marianne Moore’s poetry is durable or not, only future generations will decide. But surely there is enough freshness and originality in it to give pleasure to many generations to come.

Verse

Her first collections contain free verse and traditional verse, but the most remarkable poems were those which did away with the old way of writing verse. She used the syllabic count instead of meter (iamb, trochee, anapest . . .). For instance,An Egyptian Pulled Glass Bottle . . .follows the traditional iambic rhythm with regular stanzas well divided one from the other.In the Days of Prismatic Colourthe traditional rhythm has gone and is replaced by the number of syllables instead of feet. The annotations of this Study Guide gives as exact a count of syllables as can be worked out from the text, showing a repetition of the same number of syllables in corresponding lines from stanza to stanza in the early poems, but becoming more irregular as Marianne Moore became more adept with this technique.

In her mind the stanza was the rhythmic unit, not the line, and in later poems she writes run-on stanzas as traditional poets used to write run-on lines. The effect of this use of verse is a conversational tone that tries to capture the rhythms and accents of ordinary speech.

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Reference
"Marianne (Craig) Moore." Contemporary Author Onlines. Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2004.

"Marianne Moore." Contemporary Literary Criticism. Gale.

Engel, Bernard F. Marianne Moore. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1989.

Martin, Taffy. Marianne Moore – Subversive Modernist. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1986.
 
 

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