Perspective: ‘George Moore’ by Marianne Moore

By Marianne Moore

I fear I am vastly undereducated on both George Moore and the nature of the soul to truly appreciate the depth of this poem. Still, while there is some wonderfully obvious sass scattered throughout this poem, there was something toward the end that truly has me at a loss.

Marianne Moore specifies that George Moore’s “spirit of good narrative” is his “soul’s supplanter”. Given I believe in a religious system that simultaneously teaches the nature of ‘free agency’ alongside an omniscient God (I find this oxymoronic, but I understand my knowledge is limited), I struggle to comprehend how a spirit may differ from the soul. Is there not one simple soul in us for God to love? And is it not that same soul that chooses left and right?

See, Moore doesn’t say that ‘part’ of his soul is this spirit; it is, I think, specifically separated. Is it possible that we may focus on something in the world so much that it overcomes us? And is it possible that the introspective nature of narrative can entirely look past the self?

This isn’t a place for answers today. The problem I fear lies in the potential truth of these queries; if a story written entirely ignores the writer, can we trust authenticity in expression, in any expression? I just don’t know…

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