America’s leading review of the arts and intellectual life
One life, one art: Elizabeth Bishop in her letters
was right!Support The
If an unknown poet were to be offered a sort of cosmic bargain where he or she would live the life Elizabeth Bishop lived in return for the poems she wrote, I doubt there would be many takers. From infancy on, Bishop suffered some of the worst losses imaginable. Her father, a prosperous builder from a wealthy New England family, died in 1911 when she was eight months old. Her Canadian mother then suffered a series of nervous breakdowns that led to her permanent institutionalization in an asylum in Halifax when Elizabeth was five; Bishop never saw her again. Cared for first by her maternal grandparents in Great Village, Nova Scotia, a relatively secure and happy time, she lived briefly and quite unhappily with her paternal grandparents in Worcester, Massachusetts, and then with a favorite aunt until she was old enough to go away to boarding school. From childhood on, she suffered from terrible asthma and allergies; in her twenties and thirties, after ...
This article is available to subscribers and for individual purchase
This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 12 May 1994, on page 18
Copyright © 2015 The New Criterion | www.newcriterion.comhttp://www.newcriterion.com/articles.cfm/One-life--one-art--Elizabeth-Bishop-in-her-letters-4949
E-mail to friend
A review of the new Harvard Art Museums, designed by Renzo Piano.
by Paul Dean
A review of A. David Moody's Ezra Pound: Poet. A Portrait of the Man and His Work, Volume II: The Epic Years, 1921–1939.
The Walter Duranty Prize for Journalistic Mendacity
Introduction to The Kennedy Phenomenon
The Kennedy Phenomenon: "Watching the Kennedy Train-Wreck"