Sunday, October 11, 2009

Marianne Moore and titling

Moore seems to waver between using very direct titles ("Poetry", "When I Buy Pictures") and very indirect titles ("He 'Digesteth Harde Yron'", "An Octopus"). It seems to me that in addition to having indirect titles, the latter two works also seem to have very indirect messages, whereas the former seem to be more straightforward.

Is there a reason for this difference? I figured it could be that the kind of messages she wanted to send were different and influenced not only the words of her poems but their titles as well.

1 comment:

  1. I think the directness of the title relates to the directness of the poem itself. A more direct poem can have a more indirect title and vice versa because if you are reading "He 'Digesteth Harde Yron'" it actually talks about the ostrich and the reader can figure out what Marianne more is referring to. In "Poetry" on the other hand, especially the three line version, there is too little text for the reader to figure out what the poem is about so Moore's title lets you know what she is addressing.

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