Marianne Moore's Life

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Marianne Moore's Life

Marianne Moore was born on November 15, 1887 in Kirkwood, Missouri. Her father, who was an engineer, suffered a mental breakdown before her birth and was hospitalized before she could meet him. Moore lived with her mother, her brother, and her grandfather in Missouri until her grandfather’s death in 1894. Moore’s mother moved the family briefly to Pittsburgh and then to Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Moore attended Metzger Institute through high school and then enrolled at Bryn Mawr College in 1905. At Bryn Mawr Moore she published poems in two of the school’s literary magazines: Tipyn O’Bob and the Lantern. She majored in history, law, and politics, and graduated in 1909. After graduating Moore took secretarial courses at Carlisle Commercial College and then taught bookkeeping, stenography, typing, commercial English, and law. [i]

In 1915 Moore began to publish poems professionally. Moore first published seven poems in the Egoist, which was a London magazine edited by Hilda Doolittle. Four poems were published in Poetry: A Magazine of Verse. Five of her poems were published in Others. In 1916 Moore moved with her mother to Chatham, New Jersey, to live with her brother, who was a Presbyterian minister. When he joined the Navy in 1918 Moore and her mother moved to Manhattan. It was at this time that she became friendly with other artists such as Alfred Kreymborg, photographer Alfred Stieglitz, poets Wallace Stevens and William Carlos Williams. H.D., T.S. Eliot, and Ezra Pound also esteemed her. In 1920 Moore’s work began to appear in the distinguished pro-modernist magazine, the Dial. From 1921 until 1925 Moore worked as an assistant in the Hudson Park branch of the...

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...] Marianne Moore Chronology,

[xiv] Engel

Works Cited


Elizabeth W. Joyce, Cultural Critique and Abstraction (London: Associated University Press 1998)

Charles Molesworth, Marianne Moore: A Literary Life. (New York: Atheneum Publishing Company, 1990)


Elaine Oswald and Robert L. Gale, On Marianne Moore’s Life and Career, (Modern American Poetry).

Bernard F. Engel, Marianne Moore, (Heath Online Instructor’s Guide) April 13, 2004.

Marianne Moore, (Academy of American Poets) April 13, 2004.;

Marianne Moore Chronology,

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