Scrapping Modernism: Marianne Moore and the Making of the Modern Collage Poem

Bartholomew Brinkman, Framingham State University


The scrapbook was an important vehicle for the chronicling of personal history and the negotiation of identity in a culture of mass print, frequently modeling other modern cultural and literary forms. This essay argues that Marianne Moore's early scrapbooks informed both the subject matter and the form of her developing collage poetry in their material display of juxtaposition, assemblage, pasting-over, anchoring, and enjambment. In doing so, it challenges the common critical notion that the collage poem was an exclusive extension of the visual avantgarde, pointing to a popular scrapbooking tradition as basis for poetic collage.