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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"The task of assembling and editing [the letters] has been fulfilled in exemplary manner by Thomas Travisano, author of an excellent critical study of Elizabeth Bishop, and Saskia Hamilton, who three years ago admirably edited Robert Lowell's letters . . . This volume takes its place, along with the correspondence between Edmund Wilson and Vladimir Nabokov, or Kingsley Amis and Philip Larkin, as consummate examples of wit, affection, and indeed--in the case of Bishop and Lowell--love."About the Author:
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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