One has just been sent out as a biblical dove, has found nothing green, and slips back
into the darkness of the ark -- Kafka

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Reading: Elizabeth Bishop's Letters

Read her poetry years ago and liked much of it. Picked up both her poems and letters (ONE ART) via Kindle. Didn't know about the connection between her and Marianne Moore. Am jumping between Bishop and Boswell.


Excerpt (from a letter to Marianne Moore) from ONE ART:

     I cannot imagine why I left without leaving you the picture of the Temple of Paestrum. I often become slightly confused at the very point of bestowal and feel that perhaps, after all, it is inadequate or unwanted -- but I'm sure I thought you admired the Temple as much as I did! I am glad that you liked the leaves and I do hope they arrived wearing something of the original coloring. They fade fairly slowly, but they do fade. It was a "Sea Grape" ...  I am enclosing another -- the front side is yellow marked with a marvelous blurred (as if done on blotting paper) cerise, at the moment, I'm afraid it will be faded, but you will still be able to see the peculiar linings on the back ...
     You mustn't mock my simple fancies about the Negroes, George Herbert, etc. I will try to surprise you with a poem about them soon. The Partisan Review accepted the story, but I hope I shall be able to make several changes before they print it. I am so afraid you will not like it. I have just had another letter from Miss Norman, and I am wondering if you think that to send the two little "sleeping" poems ["Sleeping on the Ceiling" and "Sleeping Standing Up"] to her would be all right. I have another story, though, that -- if you are not too busy (but please tell me truly if you are) -- I should like to have you see. Twice a Year might possibly like it.
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