Tuesday, June 6, 2017

the last book I ever read (Elizabeth Bishop: A Miracle for Breakfast, excerpt eight)

from Elizabeth Bishop: A Miracle for Breakfast by Megan Marshall:

And she worried for herself. In late October Elizabeth learned that Randall Jarrell, the poet-critic and friend who’d been amond her first champions, had walked into oncoming traffic on a highway near campus at the University of North Carolina, where he taught in the Women’s College. Elizabeth considered Jarrell’s death and “accident of an unconscious-suicide kind, a sudden impulse when he was really quite out of his head.” As she gave in to her own impulses, life-affirming ones she believed, Elizabeth remained “determined,” she wrote to Lilli, “that I am one poet who’s going to stay sane till the bitter end.” She had written to Randall just six months before, complimenting him on his new book of poems, The Lost World, and telling him of her reviving love for Brazil’s inland towns where “some of the Lost World hasn’t quite been lost”—“I gather up every bit of evidence with joy, and wish I could put it into my poems, too.” She had, in “Under the Window: Ouro PrĂȘto.”

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