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Letter Writing Among PoetsFrom William Wordsworth to Elizabeth Bishop$
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Jonathan Ellis

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748681327

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748681327.001.0001

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Fire Balloons: The Letters of Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Bishop

Fire Balloons: The Letters of Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Bishop

(p.216) 14 Fire Balloons: The Letters of Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Bishop
Letter Writing Among Poets

Paul Muldoon

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter offers a close reading of Elizabeth Bishop’s ‘Armadillo’ and Robert Lowell’s ‘Skunk Hour’ in the light of the recently published letters between the two poets, as well as Bishop’s correspondence with The New Yorker. It looks at letters as ‘the other life that [a poem] might have had’ and a poem as ‘the other life that [letters’ might have had’, concluding that the relationship between Lowell and Bishop was often less benign than we’ve led ourselves to believe.

Keywords:   Elizabeth Bishop, intertextuality, letters, Robert Lowell, mimicry, Marianne Moore, The New Yorker, twentieth-century poetry

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