Catachrestic Divergence:

in Marianne Moore’s “The Monkey Puzzle”


  • Saba Azimi freelance
  • Shideh Ahmadzadeh Shahid Beheshti University of Tehran
  • Mahmoud Reza Ghorban Sabbagh Ferdowsi University of Mashhad



Catachresis, Foo dog, Judith Butler, Marianne Moore, Monkey Puzzle, Paduan cat


“The Monkey Puzzle” is one of the most interesting as well as intimidatingly complex poems of Marianne Moore. It envelops Moore’s attitude as an objectivist poet moving towards the relationship between language and the world. The scarce critical attention it has received does not reflect the high status it should have in Moore’s oeuvre. The present paper builds on the body of research that does exist, and from there moves on to a detailed analysis of the poem in an attempt to show how a catachrestic divergence from significatory processes is at work all throughout this poem. The reinterpretation of the poem through a focus on its  catachrestic bounciness will not only shed light on some of its most complex imagery, but will also show how a philosophical filament runs through the whole poem and invites the readers to trespass the boundaries of the significatory walls drawn around our imagination. 


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How to Cite

Azimi, S., Ahmadzadeh, S., & Reza Ghorban Sabbagh, M. (2022). Catachrestic Divergence:: in Marianne Moore’s “The Monkey Puzzle”. American & British Studies Annual, 15, 100–115.