Thursday, April 6, 2017

National Poetry Month: how to collect a poet who kept rearranging herself

There are other puzzles. If she writes a poem and publishes it in a magazine in 1916, then re-titles it and publishes it in a book in 1924, then reverts to the original title and publishes it as new work in 1964, 1966, and 1967, then where should it appear, chronologically speaking, in the New Collected Poems? If she publishes three poems as a sequence under a group title in a magazine in 1932, then, in 1935, keeps the group title but drops one of the poems when she publishes the remaining two in a book, then completely rewrites the dropped poem and publishes it alone in a book in 1941, which version of the dropped poem should be reprinted, and under what year? Should it be part of a sequence or not?
- Heather Cass White, With a Perfect Contempt: On Editing Marianne Moore

Henry Bemis Books's profile of Moore is here.

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