March 1960

The Phoenix And The Bees.

Author Affiliations

Quatrains by Merrill Moore, edited by Mary Owings Miller. Price, $4. Pp. 79, with no illustrations. Contemporary Poetry, 4204 Roland Ave., Baltimore 10, 1959.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1960;105(3):499-500. doi:10.1001/archinte.1960.00270150153023

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Merrill Moore's dozen volumes of sonnet-like verse and Henry Wells charming Life of Moore, which he quarried largely out of quotations from the sonnets, have been discussed in reviews here in the past. "The Phoenix And The Bees," Merrill Moore's last poetic work, completed just before his untimely death, finds him essaying a new form, the quatrain. The method and style are reminiscent of Fitzgerald's handling of the "Rubaiyat" of Omar Khayyam. There are suggestions of the little poetic silhouettes of Japanese poets and the classic restraint and compression of Greek and Roman poets as well as some of the mysticism of the Orient. If I can trust my own response, these quatrains will rank much higher than the majority of his sonnets. It was Merrill Moore's unique facility with words and a curious intellectual template which so readily brought his thoughts into the form of sonnets as well as

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