"Oh, Marianne Moore's precision. So you're talking about her syllabics, right?"
A poet uses meter.
Wow, amazing. I am amazed. Let's reduce that poet's entire poetics to the fact that she uses quantitative meter. Yep, that is what her poetry is all about. Syllables: you can count them! Oh, and did you know she was a spinster?
To borrow an idiom or two, this particular baloney really gets the Cecire goat.
And yet, I know I must not scream when I hear it, because I will keep hearing it for as long as I work on Marianne Moore, which I hope will be a long time.
It is obvious that Moore did not always write in syllabics. It would not even be accurate to say that most of her poems use syllabics. Looking at multiple versions of her poems reveals a tendency to draft in syllabics and revise into free verse. People who think that syllabics are the defining quality of Moore's verse are wrong.
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Unrelatedly: Sociological Images has a great post on pants.