Marianne Moore

Marianne Moore

1887 - 1972

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the Bollingen Prize (for her Collected Poems of 1951), Marianne Moore was a well-respected poet during her lifetime, a major player in literary circles, and an important patron of poetry.

Photo: Marianne Moore, 1935, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Digital ID: cph 3c01955


Born in Missouri, Moore moved to New York City in 1918 with her mother. Moore became the editor of the prestigious magazine The Dial in 1925 (after working at the New York Public Library for a few years while also writing). Moore's first book of poems was published in 1921 by H. D., without Moore's knowledge. By the time The Dial ceased publication (in 1929), Moore had established her career as a writer and earned her living through writing reviews and poetry for the rest of her life.

Moore was very humble about her writing career, often professing that she didn't write "poetry"--just that "there is no other category in which to put it." The title of her poems frequently becomes part of the first line of the text, and her verse contains a fresh universality and clarity which makes it thrillingly accessible still today. Her most famous poem, "Poetry," explains the nature and place of modern poetry. Her love of animals and sports (especially baseball and boxing) can been seen in her poetry.

Moore was somewhat a celebrity in New York City during her life. She threw the first pitch of the season in 1968 at Yankee Stadium. She also served as unofficial hostess for the mayor. Moore never married, but she was adored and respected by countless writers throughout her lifetime and after her death.

--Christie Finn

Songs & Song Collections BY Moore (entered to date)
Composers who set Moore's TEXTS (entered to date)

Audio PLaylist