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

57 
thorough way in which she may be said to disinfect and purify 
them so that once more they stand out fresh and angular. An 
other modern poet, William Carlos Williams, in the Dial for 
May, 1925, gives a good description of this faculty. 
“Miss Moore gets great pleasure from wiping soiled words 
or cutting them clean out, removing the aureoles that have been 
pasted about them or taking them bodily from greasy contexts. 
For the compositions which Miss Moore intends, each word 
should first stand crystal clear with no attachments; not even 
an aroma. ... 
“With Miss Moore a word is a word most when it is sep 
arated out by science, treated with acid to remove the smudges, 
washed, dried, and placed right side up on a clean surface. Now 
one may say that this is a word. Now it may be used, and how? 
“It may be used not to smear it again with thinking (the 
attachments of thought) but in such a way that it will remain 
scrupulously itself, clean, perfect, unnicked beside other words 
in parade. There must be edges.” 
One is glad that Miss Moore does this, for we have been too 
long tricked by the “suggestiveness” of poetry, which after all 
should be of firmer stuff than a dream. Her careful use of words 
blends imperceptibly into her rhythm—a peculiar and new 
rhythm about which I agree with T. S. Eliot: it is her most 
important contribution. As far as vers libre is concerned, she 
has “gone the whole hog including the postage,” to use the trans 
lation of a Russian colloquialism. That is, she gets along with 
an utter minimum of rhymes, of assonance, alliteration, master 
beats and other versifying devices. She goes out where the waves 
are choppiest and the currents cross most dangerously and sharks 
are said to be mouthing, and she swims superbly and safely. 
Trusting solely to her own gift of metrical invention, she takes 
all the dangers and emerges in calm triumph. 
Her line runs long and free, or turns brief and swift, as she 
wills it. Her strophes breathe quietly and enunciate well: they 
uncoil with smooth friction out of each other, undulate as the 
way of apprehending the subject undulates, and rise with finality 
or settle in tranquility at the conclusion. They are “strict and 
stately”, yet they are limber too like “essences of conversations”. 
Williams again has said the essential thing about her rhythm. 
“It does not interfere with her progress; it is the movement of 
the animal, it does not put itself first and ask the other to follow.” 
This “movement of the animal” is literally delightful. So 
likewise are the bits of freightage carried so nimbly by her 
strophes. To illustrate: 
There is the lapidic aphorism worthy, had it been carved 
then, of being preserved from antiquity. In view of earlier re-
	        

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