A Formalist Analysis of Moore’s No Swan No Fine

by Helmut Eder

“No Swan No Fine” is a free-versed, fourteen-lined poem written by Marianne Moore for the 20th anniversary edition of the Poetry Magazine. It was rumored at the time that the magazine would end its year – suggesting that the poem was a swan song for the magazine (a swan song is usually written in celebration of the brilliance of a period that is about to end to welcome the new), but at the same time, implying that the magazine production must give way to the new.

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