Marianne Moore on Writing(2)

“One writes because one has a burning desire to objectify what it is indispensable to one’s happiness to express.”

“For me, a poem starts when a felicitious phrase springs to mind.”

“I never plan a stanza. Words cluster like chromosomes, determining the procedure.”

“Everything I have written is the result of reading or of interest in people.”

“I see no reason for calling my work poetry except that there is no other category in which to put it.”

“It never occurred to me that what I wrote was something to define. I am governed by the pull of the sentence as the pull of fabric is governed by gravity.”

“You know I don’t really understand much of my poetry myself. Of course, I was convinced I understood it when I wrote it!”

[On her use of quotations:] “When a thing has been said so well that it could not be said better, why paraphrase it? Hence my writing, is, if not a cabinet of fossils, a kind of collection of flies in amber.”

Marianne Moore (1887-1972)

Woman with wax tablets and stylus (so-called “Sappho”)
Roman fresco from Pompeii

Si scrive perché si ha un ardente desiderio di oggettivare ciò che è indispensabile esprimere per la propria felicità.

Per me, una poesia inizia quando mi viene in mente una frase felice.

Non pianifico mai una strofa. Le parole si raggruppano come cromosomi, determinando la procedura

Tutto ciò che ho scritto è la conseguenza di lettura o di interesse per le persone

Non c’è motivo per chiamare la mia opera poesia, tranne che non esiste un’altra categoria in cui porla.

Non mi è mai venuto in mente che quanto scrivevo fosse qualcosa da definire. Sono governata dall’attrazione della frase come l’attrazione del tessuto (cioè la caduta del tessuto di un abito) è governata dalla gravità .

Sapete, io stessa non capisco molto della mia poesia. Ma naturalmente ero convinta di saperlo quando la scrivevo!

[Sul suo uso delle citazioni:] Quando una cosa è stata detta così bene da non poter essere detta in modo migliore, perché parafrasarla? Quindi i miei scritti sono, se non una vetrina di fossili, una specie di collezione di mosche nell’ambra.

51 thoughts on “Marianne Moore on Writing(2)

  1. Thanks for sharing. I read a poem by Sappho. It talked about the her golden sandals and the dawn coming like a thief. It messed with my mind. It is not a common way to think for me. We all have special experiences.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Re: “You know I don’t really understand much of my poetry myself. Of course, I was convinced I understood it when I wrote it!”
        Beyond this, I sometimes find that on the rare occasions when someone comments on one of my poems, sometimes their interpretation on what it means makes it sound like it’s a better poem than the shabby meaning I had known it to have. But on the other hand, sometimes I actually intend it to have a grand meaning, and everyone assumes the most trivial of meanings, focused on such things as “word play” or ‘rhyme scheme’ (if any) as a pejorative.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s