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Guilty Knowledge, Guilty PleasureThe Dirty Art of Poetry$
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William Logan

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231166867

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231166867.001.0001

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Nobody’s Perfect

Nobody’s Perfect

The Letters of Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell

(p.237) Nobody’s Perfect
Guilty Knowledge, Guilty Pleasure

William Logan

Columbia University Press

This chapter reviews Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence Between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell. Words in Air is an immense volume that collects the letters between Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Bishop, from a few months after they met at a dinner party in 1947 to a few weeks before his death of a heart attack thirty years later—a correspondence conducted across continents and oceans as their poetry drove them together and their lives kept them apart. The pleasures of their remarkable correspondence lie in the untiring way these poets entertained each other with the comic inadequacies of the world. The editing of this volume, although genially meticulous in so many ways, is marred by a raft of typos and a sketchy, inadequate glossary of names.

Keywords:   Robert Lowell, Elizabeth Bishop, letters, correspondence, reviews, poetry, poets

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