Full text: The little review (12 (1926), 1)

organism that has style, design, precision and all the other merits 
of minor poetry manifesting as characteristics of an essence that 
animates them. 
Hence again, under poetry is idiosyncratic behavior and 
major poetry is the complete presentation of states of being. 
It is the “fractional magnificence” of Miss Moore’s poetry, 
so perfect and so narrow, that has persuaded me to enter this dis 
cussion of major and minor, and to get out of it and back to the 
special pleasure Miss Moore gives, it is needful to state those 
limitations that make her so deliberately minor. 
There is first the bland assumption that she, as she is, is a 
competent observer of facts, proprieties, life and the tissues of 
destiny. No doubt occurs to her that while she is an instrument 
of observation, she may still be an imperfect instrument, dis 
torting what it sees by failing to relate it to a true pattern—de 
tached but not impartial. The name for the mood that en 
compasses this anti-Socratic assumption—precisely the same anti- 
Socratic assumption upon which the majority of modern scien 
tists has proceeded—is complacency. 
To be complacent is to disregard as unimportant the fact 
that one is conditioned—by one’s private likings and dislikings, 
by one’s motives, by the latent context of one’s mind. The scien 
tist is naive in that while he actually does nothing to improve 
his psychological equipment to observe, he pretends to im 
personality and objectivity. The poet is naive in that he admits 
—when he seems them—his conditions, but then enthusiastically 
places a high valuation upon them. Consequently, Miss Moore 
is able to inform you that “to be liked by you would be a 
calamity” and the object of dislike is dismissed, not examined 
and clarified. The statement of one’s dislikes and likes has no 
other value than that of giving a self-portrait. Of what? Of 
one of the cells of this vast body of mankind passing now so many 
ages across the crust of this little planet. 
Furthermore, I suspect that the motive which forces upon 
Miss Moore an esoteric style, that restricts her choice of ma 
terials, and makes her cling to Victorian proprieties in attitude, 
is by no means purely esthetic. It may be something much less 
rational, something indeed that looks like self-protectiveness. 
As she says: 
The staff, the bag, the feigned inconsequence 
of manner, best bespeak that weapon, self protectiveness. 
Behind the elaborate inconsequence of her stylistic behavior, 
the swiftness of her mental movements, so swift that connectives 
are dropped out, the complexity of her reconnoitres, the be 
wildering patches of her learning, there peers at moments sim 
plicity, humble and timid, immature and shy, disliking sophisti

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