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At the Edges of Unmeeting: Geometries of Sea and Land in Marianne Moore’s Seascapes

At the Edges of Unmeeting: Geometries of Sea and Land in Marianne Moore’s Seascapes This article theorizes the edge between the land and the sea in Marianne Moore’s poetry and in Jeff Wall’s photograph “The Flooded Grave.” For these artists, the edge is constituted as an array of fluctuating temporal rhythms created by living organisms and dynamic abiotic elements, such as changing tides and the rocky or sandy substrates that make up the geological formation of the coastline. The edge appears in a number of Moore’s poems, including “The Fish,” which depicts the intertidal zone populated by injured “crow-blue mussel-shells,” “ink- / bespattered jelly fish,” and sea-stars, which resemble “pink / rice-grains.” Wall’s photograph, in turn, portrays a transposition between an aquatic and a terrestrial environment by placing an intertidal pool filled with star fish and sea anemones into the rectangular space of a grave. This article reads such moments as experiments in the textured edges of displacement. In these instances of intertidal encounter, organisms find themselves in unlikely configurations of space and time as a consequence of geophysical and ecological redistributions associated with effects of climate change. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Comparative Literature Duke University Press

At the Edges of Unmeeting: Geometries of Sea and Land in Marianne Moore’s Seascapes

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Copyright
Copyright © 2021 by University of Oregon
ISSN
0010-4124
eISSN
1945-8517
DOI
10.1215/00104124-8874062
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article theorizes the edge between the land and the sea in Marianne Moore’s poetry and in Jeff Wall’s photograph “The Flooded Grave.” For these artists, the edge is constituted as an array of fluctuating temporal rhythms created by living organisms and dynamic abiotic elements, such as changing tides and the rocky or sandy substrates that make up the geological formation of the coastline. The edge appears in a number of Moore’s poems, including “The Fish,” which depicts the intertidal zone populated by injured “crow-blue mussel-shells,” “ink- / bespattered jelly fish,” and sea-stars, which resemble “pink / rice-grains.” Wall’s photograph, in turn, portrays a transposition between an aquatic and a terrestrial environment by placing an intertidal pool filled with star fish and sea anemones into the rectangular space of a grave. This article reads such moments as experiments in the textured edges of displacement. In these instances of intertidal encounter, organisms find themselves in unlikely configurations of space and time as a consequence of geophysical and ecological redistributions associated with effects of climate change.

Journal

Comparative LiteratureDuke University Press

Published: Jun 1, 2021

References