Sunday, July 13, 2008


Lowell wrote to Bishop in 1948, more or less defending W.C.W.'s use of Marcia Nardi's letters in Paterson:

"... I think of their effectiveness in two ways: 1) so terrifyingly and typically real, and yet I don't think I'd want to read many of them straight - too monotonous, pathological. Yet in the poem they are placed and not pathological, the agony is absorbed. 2) Aren't they really hardest on Williams himself (Paterson), a damning of his insensitivity."

Decades later, of course, Bishop and Lowell would clash over his use of Elizabeth Hardwick's letters in The Dolphin.


Bishop, also in '48, on her poem, "Over 2,000 Illustrations and a Complete Concordance" - "I do know I'm very sick of sounding so quiet."

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