Elizabeth Bishop and Her Art

Lloyd Schwartz and Sybil P. Estess, Editors
Reviews and essays that focus on this great American poet


As the first book-length collection to focus on Elizabeth Bishop, this book has become an essential resource on this poet--now recognized as one of America's greatest artists--whose poetry, as Harold Bloom says in his foreword, stands "at the edge where what is most worth saying is all but impossible to say." The volume includes major essays by David Kalstone, Helen Vendler, and Robert Pinsky, among others; a chronology of short articles and reviews, poems, memoirs, and memorials, many by major poets (among them Bishop's three most notable supporters--Marianne Moore, Robert Lowell, and Randall Jarrell); and an illuminating selection of work by Bishop herself, some of which is unavailable anywhere else.

"With the publication of Elizabeth Bishop and Her Art, those who have followed Bishop criticism in the past gain access to a handy compendium that will include most, if not all, of the pieces they treasure most. Those just discovering Bishop's wise and humane poetry--an oeuvre, as Merrill says, 'on the scale of a human life'--have been saved innumerable hours of library research and can browse, delighted, in this responsible and appealing collection." --Contemporary Literature

Look Inside

Table of Contents

"Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell on the Beach at Rio" (pencil study), Ralph Hamilton - frontispiece

Introduction - xix

Part One: Critical Essays

Elizabeth Bishop:Questions of Memory, Questions of Travel
David Kalstone - 3

Domestication, Domesticity, and the Otherworldly
Helen Vendler - 32

The Idion of a Self: Elizabeth Bishop and Wordsworth
Robert Pinsky - 49

"In Prison": A Paradox Regained
David Lehman - 61

"Old Correspondences": Prosodic Transformations in Elizabeth Bishop
Penelope Laurans - 75

A Cold Spring: The Poet of Feeling
Alan Williamson - 96

The Impersonal and the Interrogative in the Poetry of Elizabeth Bishop
Bonnie Costello - 109

One Art: The Poetry of Elizabeth Bishop, 1971-1976
Lloyd Schwartz - 133

Elizabeth Bishop's "Natural Heroism"
Willard Spiegelman - 154

Part Two: A Chronology

Archaically New
Marianne Moore - 175

A Modest Expert: North & South
Marianne Moore -  177

On North & South
Louise Bogan - 182

North but South
Oscar Williams - 184

From "Thomas, Bishop, and Williams"
Robert Lowell - 186

New Verse: North & South
Arthur Mizener - 190

"Senhora Helena"
Marianne Moore - 194

From an Interview
Robert Lowell - 197

From "Fifty Years of American Poetry"
Randall Jarrell - 198

On "Skunk Hour": How the Poem Was Written
Robert Lowell - 199

From an Interview
James Merrill - 200

The Complete Poems
John Ashbery - 201

On The Complete Poems
Robert Lowell - 206

For Elizabeth Bishop 4
Robert Lowell - 207

Comment on "In the Waiting Room" and Herbert's "Love Unknown"
Richard Howard - 208

From a Conversation
Mark Strand - 210

Elizabeth Bishop, or the Power of Reticence
Octavio Paz - 211

On Elizabeth Bishop
Frank Bidart - 214

Invitation to Miss Elizabeth Bishop
William Meredith - 216

Description and the Imagination in Elizabeth Bishop's "The Map"
Sybil P. Estess - 219

Elizabeth Bishop in Brazil
Ashley Brown - 223

Her Craft
James Merrill - 241

Elizabeth Bishop Introduction
Mark Strand - 242

Elizabeth Bishop's Mappings of Life
John Hollander - 244

Elizabeth Bishop, 1911-1979
Lloyd Schwarts - 252

Elizabeth Bishop, 1911-1979
Robert Pinsky - 255

Elizabeth Bishop
Richard Wilbur - 263

Symposium: I Would Like to Have Written..
Mary McCarthy - 267

Part Three: In Her Own Words

From "Time's Andromedas" - 271

From "Gerard Manley Hopkins: Notes on Timing in His Poetry" - 273

From Two Letters to Marianne Moore about "A Miracle for Breakfast" - 276

From "Gregorio Valdes, 1879-1939" - 277

From "As We Like It" - 278

Review of XAIPE: Seventy-one Poems by E. E. Cummings - 280

It All Depends [In Response to a Questionnaire] - 281

From "What the Young man Said to the Psalmist" - 282

From "The Manipulation of Mirrors" - 283

From Introduction to The Diary of "Helena Morley"  - 284

On Life Studies by Robert Lowell - 285

On "The Man-Moth" - 286

On Flannery O'Connor - 287

The "Darwin" Letter - 288

An Interview with Elizabeth Bishop
Ashley Brown - 289

On "Confessional Poetry" - 303

An Inadequate Tribute - 304

On "The Burglar of Babylon" - 305

Lines Written in a Copy of Fannie Farmer's Boston Cooking School Cookbook, Given to Frank Bidart - 306

On Golden State by Frank Bidart - 307

From "A Brief Reminiscence and a Brief Tribute" - 308

From Book-of-the-Month Club Interview - 309

Statement for the English Memorial Service for Robert Lowell - 311

"The Work!": A Conversation with Elizabeth Bishop
George Starbuck - 312

Lloyd Schwartz - 331

Product Details

  • 5-1/4 x 8.
  • 368pp.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Paper
  • 1983
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-06343-7

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  • $29.95 U.S.