BISHOP: POEMS, PROSE, AND LETTERS
Elizabeth Bishop, who died in 1979, is acknowledged as one of our premier American Poets of the 20th century. Robert Lowell said, “I enjoy her poems more than anybody else’s”. Her following has continued to grow and this extraordinary collection not only of poems but also essays and personal letters is compelling as well as rewarding. This should be required reading of all students of English literature and devotees of poetry. Bishop’s longtime editor, Robert Giroux, and Lloyd Schwartz, awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, have co-edited this book with great detail and care. Where in a single volume can one find a poet’s gift to the world, with her poems, unpublished works, translations, writing from her travels, essays, and delightful personal, often revealing letters?
Even readers who just wish to find out more about Elizabeth Bishop will enjoy perusing this book. Picking and choosing poems to read at the reader’s own pace and letters and essays on their own, will still be an enlightening, interesting time spent reading. I think you do not have to be a poetry lover to enjoy this book. However, if you are an aficionado of this genre, then you are in for a delight and money well spent on this amazing collection
Considering the publisher, The Library of America, is a nonprofit publishing company that is dedicated to conserving the most noteworthy writing in remarkable, permanent books, featuring respected texts, one would have to agree that they have certainly met their goal with the publishing of this collection.
Submitted by Karen Haney Originally for Curled Up with a Good Book, November, 2008