Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ormsby on Bishop

In the New York Sun, Eric Ormsby reviews the Library of America's latest offering: Elizabeth Bishop's Poems, Prose and Letters. Here's a sample:

"Certain poets come to seem our secret friends. We may not have met them; we may not have wanted to meet them. But their particular voices, as distinctive and familiar as those of our childhood, accompany us, sometimes for years. We don't turn to their poems for comfort or for wisdom, though they may offer these in abundance. We say their lines over and over to ourselves for the sheer pleasure of their words, much the way we might hum a favorite melody. Oddest of all, these lines, which memory has made magical, do not grow stale; familiarity only increases their mystery."

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