Sunday, July 13, 2008

Prolepsis

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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