Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence Between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell

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Macmillan, Mar 16, 2010 - Literary Collections - 875 pages
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Robert Lowell once remarked in a letter to Elizabeth Bishop that "you ha[ve] always been my favorite poet and favorite friend." The feeling was mutual. Bishop said that conversation with Lowell left her feeling "picked up again to the proper table-land of poetry," and she once begged him, "Please never stop writing me letters—they always manage to make me feel like my higher self (I've been re-reading Emerson) for several days." Neither ever stopped writing letters, from their first meeting in 1947 when both were young, newly launched poets until Lowell's death in 1977. The substantial, revealing—and often very funny—interchange that they produced stands as a remarkable collective achievement, notable for its sustained conversational brilliance of style, its wealth of literary history, its incisive snapshots and portraits of people and places, and its delicious literary gossip, as well as for the window it opens into the unfolding human and artistic drama of two of America's most beloved and influential poets.

 

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Michael Dirda in Wash Post's year end best books 2008 recommends. Anything MD says to consider, I consider. Read full review

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About the author (2010)

Elizabeth Bishop (1911–79) and Robert Lowell (1917–77) were among the greatest and most honored poets of the last century. Their poetry, prose, and letters are published by FSG.

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