Elizabeth Bishop and Marianne Moore
This chapter examines Elizabeth Bishop's relationship with fellow poet Marianne Moore, whom she met in 1934 as a senior student about to graduate from Vassar College. Aside from drafts of poems and prose, Bishop often sent Moore gifts. In her memoir of Moore, ‘Efforts of Affection’, which she wrote after the latter's death in 1972, Bishop revealed that a nautilus shell was one of the most ‘successful’ gifts she had given to Moore. The nautilus shell, which became the subject of Bishop's poem ‘The Paper Nautilus’, is possibly the same nautilus shell that Bishop's lover and companion at the time, Louise Crane, presented to Moore in February 1937. Bishop compared Moore with Gerard Manley Hopkins, one of her own early influences for poetry. However, some aspects of Moore's poetics were less congenial to Bishop. For her part, Moore was both astute and generous as a reader of Bishop's poems.
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