helen's Reviews > Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence Between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell

Words in Air by Elizabeth Bishop
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Jul 19, 2009

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Read in July, 2009

I only made it through 1947-1951. It was visits with Ezra Pound, stays in Key West on the Hemmingway property and stays at Yaddo with the likes of Flannery O'Connor, stays on the rocky coast of Novia Scotia. Coercing Dylan Thomas to make a recording of his work for the poetry collection at the Library of Congress, because that's where you work. Attending a reception for Edith and Osbert Sitwell at New York City's Gotham Book Mart with Marianne Moore, William Carlos Williams, Tennessee Williams, W.H. Auden, Stephen Spender, Randall Jarred and others. Can you imagine? Mental breakdown, asthmatic collapse, failed marriage. The graffiti in Florence, Italy, reads: "Death to the criminal MacArthur," but back in New York your dissecting stanza 5, line 7 of the Kavanaughs. Don't even get me started on Harcourt Brace. 1951-1977 and trips to Brazil with Aldous Huxley for another time. After all, 811 pages of letters isn't exactly summer reading.

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