This paper explores how Marianne Moore's reputation as a poet with intellectual precision, which began with her first publications, has obscured some of the emergent features of her early work that culminate in her 1920s long poems “Sea Unicorns and Land Unicorns,” “An Octopus,” and “Marriage.” Moore's precision is achieved through incremental, temporalized processes on the levels of individual poems (through the use of “chromatic” forms such as lists, catalogs, and inventories), groupings or series of poems (through the use of editorial acts of selection, arrangement, and ordering), and in her oeuvre as a whole.

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