Abstract

Abstract:

Marianne Moore’s poetry demonstrates a persistent interest in decorative art objects. She often uses observation of these objects as an occasion for social criticism, but she acknowledges the way that objects can exceed or elude the attempt to use them toward such ends. Moore is attracted to decorative art objects for this very reason: they can be used but never used up. They are more like performances of utility than inherently useful objects. Insofar as her collections of decorative art objects resist didactic interpretation, they resemble the “cabinets of curiosity” that were popular during the seventeenth century, and are described in the work of Sir Thomas Browne. Like Browne, Moore cultivates a mixture of irony and sincerity as she plays with resemblance and contiguity in her poetry’s cabinets of curiosity.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1464
Print ISSN
0022-281X
Pages
pp. 18-38
Launched on MUSE
2018-08-15
Open Access
No
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