Along the diminishing stretch of memory


Pierce, Catherine

Committee Member

Kardos, Michael

Committee Member

Lyons, Richard

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

MSU Only Indefinitely

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Arts


Persuasion in poetry, according to Marianne Moore, is the result of three attributes, humility, concentration, and gusto, and when a poet is aware of these attributes and incorporates each one into his / her poetry, the poem is more likely to be meaningful. In fact, Moore’s theory stands as a meaningful test to any poet regardless of aesthetic preference. Therefore, in order to argue that the combination of these three concepts work together to produce persuasive poetry, I will show how all three of Moore’s tenets—humility, concentration, and gusto—are present in the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop as well as in the most emotionally convincing poems of confessional poet Anne Sexton and associative free verse poet Mary Ruefle. In addition, I will discuss how Moore’s aesthetics apply to my own work.



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