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

marks, I must add that Miss Moore’s occasional violations of the 
quoted saying demonstrate that it is even more difficult to observe 
it than it is to chisel it. 
Distaste which takes no credit to itself is best. 
There is wit, unexpected and debonair. Mark also in the 
following quotation how buoyantly Miss Moore’s poetry floats 
the Latin-derived verbiage. 
To popularize the mule, its neat exterior 
expressing the principle of accommodation reduced to a 
There is the selection of the “beautiful fact” and uncontam 
inated precision in recording it. 
Black butterflies with blue half circles on their wings. 
And there is, best of all, the pure poetic dance. 
When the wind is from the east, 
the smell is of apples, of hay; the aroma increased and 
as the wind changes; 
of rope, of mountain leaves for florists. 
In all these felicities one takes delight. 
A postscript is called for, since Miss Moore appears in other 
literary roles than that of poet. She is a critic and lately she has 
become an editor. In both capacities, unfortunately, she is 
much less consequential than as a poet. 
The critic must be ambitious and Miss Moore is not. She 
attempts to make no more than a sensitive impressionistic sketch 
of her reading, a sketch that is always liberally studded with 
quotations from the author under review, and carries a valuable 
sentence or two of acute technical understanding for good meas 
ure. The quotations are ably selected for the object she has in 
mind, which is to give the “flavor” of the author. But, after 
all, the “flavor” is in the book and each reader of it may garner 
his own impressions. The critic must do more than that. At 
any rate, he should not be backward about handling ideas. 
Marianne Moore, the critic, is still preferable to Miss Moore, 
the acting editor of the Dial. What shall I say about that role? 
Let us say nothing, but rather ponder on the qualifications of a 
first order editor, who is so much rarer than a good poet. 
The first order editor must of course be expert in his own 
special technic: that of assembling his contributions into an 
organism that is reborn at stated intervals. He must include in 
himself a critic capable of discerning a variety of values. He 
must have elevated standards and a broad outlook. He must be 
instigator as well as judge. His magazine must reflect a direc 
ting mind, yet not be warped by his own limitations. His, in 
fact must be that impartial free intelligence that so seldom 

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