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PN Review 243
Featured Article
on Marianne Moore Like Armour Jena Schmitt New Collected Poems by Marianne Moore, ed. Heather Cass-White (Faber & Faber, 2017) £30

WHILE READING New Collected Poems by Marianne Moore, edited by Heather Cass and published by Faber & Faber in 2017, I found myself making lists, lists of the people and places and things from within Moore’s poems. First and foremost, there are animals – pigeons, buffalo, pelicans, basilisks, swans, nightingales, octopuses, snakes, mules, beavers, antelopes, pangolins. There are nectarines and plums, orchids and palm trees; views of Boston, Fujiyama, Thebes, Pompeii; references to Queen Elizabeth, Dante, Francis Bacon, Pliny, an elderly gentleman playing a game of chess.

I found entries in the index for carrots and Chinese lacquer, fools and Flaubert, marriage and manganese blue, waterfalls and Waterford glass. There are quotes from Literary Digest, National Geographic, Field & Stream, Scientific American.

Further, looking back through Moore’s Selected Letters (1997), which I was lucky to find in a used bookstore more than twenty years ago, I noted the writers and artists she corresponded with – H.D., Elizabeth Bishop, Joseph Cornell, Alfred Stieglitz, Harriet Monroe, William Carlos Williams, Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, D.H. Lawrence, Wallace Stevens, W.H. Auden, Allen Ginsberg, Louise Bogan.

There were the nicknames she called her mother (most often Bear) and brother – Biter, Ouzel, Winks, Beaver, Pago, Pen-viper, Badger Volcanologist, Mongolian gazelle, Snowflea, Impala K.C S. The names she called herself – Poisonous, Rusty Mongoose, Fangs, Uncle. The names – Weaz, Pidge, Winks, Rat (though most often Moore was Rat) – that she called all three of them, as though they were interchangeable, ... read more
After Long Absence
John Ash After long absence I found myself back,
all unwillingly, in the country of my sickness
where a kind nurse told me that the blue band
fastened to my wrist indicated ‘cognitive impairment’,
and I think there may be something to it. Why –

only yesterday I forgot how to spell
that grave word catastrophe when this
is what had happened like an unforeseen eclipse,
or shadow of an obliterating wing. In the hospital
as I waited to leave (and waited and waited)
... read more
Love in Another Language ‘intricate accommodation’
A.E. Stallings on Dick Davis’s Love in Another Language: Collected Poems and Selected Translations (Carcanet) £20

DICK DAVIS’s Love in Another Language: Collected Poems and Selected Translations represents over forty years of original poetry and translations from the Persian. Davis is hard to place in some ways, like an accent that has softened over time, travel and distance. Born in Portsmouth, Davis has spent almost all of his adult life out of the United Kingdom, living for a time in Italy and Greece, residing for eight years in Iran (1970 to 1978, in the lead-up to the violent Revolution), where he met and married his wife, Afkham (to whom this volume is dedicated), and finally settling down in Columbus, Ohio. He is probably better known in some American poetry circles (associated, in particular, with the poets sometimes described as ‘New Formalists’) than ... read more
Selected from the Archive...
Adrian Stokes Revisited Donald Davie
FIFTY years ago, when Pound in The Criterion applauded Adrian Stokes's The Quattro Cento, he exclaimed: 'It is almost incomprehensible that any man can have as great a concern for the shapes and meanings of stone beauty as Stokes has, without its forcing him to take the tools in his hands. In fact one can only suppose that he in some way regards himself as the forerunner of some sort of sculptural amelioration, or at any rate is trying to clear up incomprehensions and to distinguish between pure and mixed sculptural values.' The comment is endearingly characteristic of Pound, who could never make a distinction, nor endorse one made by someone else, without at once doing something about it, taking the tools in his hands. But the reflection is a natural one, all the same: if Stokes wasn't himself ... read more
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