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Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence Between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell Paperback – March 16, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
They lived apart, continents apart, but close in spirit. Their letters are gossipy, smart, unguarded, critical of each others' work, supportive through triumphs and awful trials. They say things to each other that they never would have voiced aloud. (Sometimes they get catty, and mostly they are right.)
As their careers progress, you follow a poem by poem progression. The letters made me aware of the extent to which their poems were written in response to the work of the other, and the importance of their prose and translation to the poems for which they are now famous.
It's a nice book too, a good design, and a fine thing in hand. My only complaint is that the footnotes (which are fascinating) are printed in a tiny font that's almost too small for my tired eyes.
Elizabeth Bishop herself cites composer Virgil Thompson: “‘one of the strange things about poets is the way they keep warm by writing to one another all over the world’” (494). Indeed, these two keep each other warm for thirty years, from 1947, when both are beginning to experience success, to 1977, when Robert Lowell dies of a heart attack in a “taxi from Kennedy Airport on his return to New York on September 12” (xli). Bishop dies on September 21 “in the early evening of a cerebral aneurysm” (xli). No one, absolutely no one, writes letters like these any longer, not even literati. Or if they do, they are not saving them in boxes. As soon as a party dies, unless he or she has made copies of their emails there shall remain no record. And do those electronic memoranda even count as letters?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm very much enjoying the writing and content however, the book appeared to have been used and arrived very damaged. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Jeralee Chapman
Glad I did'nt order the hardcover version, this is a BIG book. Looking forward to leasurly reading, learning about an interesting couple.Published on August 19, 2013 by Kathryn Wise