By Megan Marshall

ISBN-10: 0544617304

ISBN-13: 9780544617308

From a Pulitzer Prize–winning writer, a brilliantly rendered lifetime of certainly one of our so much widespread American poets

due to the fact her dying in 1979, Elizabeth Bishop, who released just one hundred poems in her lifetime, has develop into one in every of America’s best-loved poets. And yet—painfully shy and residing out of public view in Key West and Brazil, between different hideaways—she hasn't ever been obvious so totally as a girl and an artist. Megan Marshall makes incisive and relocating use of a newly came upon cache of Bishop’s letters—to her psychiatrist and to 3 of her lovers—to exhibit a miles darker adolescence than has been identified, a mystery affair, and the final bankruptcy of her passionate romance with the Brazilian modernist fashion designer Lota de Macedo Soares.

those components of Bishop’s existence, with her friendships with poets Marianne Moore and Robert Lowell, are dropped at lifestyles with novelistic depth. And by means of alternating the narrative line of biography with short passages of memoir, Marshall, who studied with Bishop in her storied Seventies poetry workshop at Harvard, bargains the reader a compelling glimpse of the methods poetry and biography, topic and biographer, are entwined.

eventually, during this riveting portrait of a lifestyles lived for—and stored by—art, Marshall captures the iconic magic of Bishop’s artistic achievement.

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Additional resources for Elizabeth Bishop: A Miracle for Breakfast

Sample text

Gertrude was moved to a private sanatorium in Norwood, Massachusetts, and stayed three months before returning to Nova Scotia and Elizabeth, who had settled there with her Bulmer grandparents. By now Elizabeth had come to view her mother more as one of the Bulmer aunts, and the least reliable of them. Or perhaps not even that—Grandmother and the aunts had become Gertrude’s caretakers. Was it before or after this hospitalization that one of them found Gertrude sleeping next to Elizabeth, holding a knife?

Elizabeth told Evelyn her mother was dead, like her father. But then she “loathed” herself for lying, for the “hideous craving for sympathy” her lie revealed, the dishonorable longing for a loss she could speak of and mourn. ” Grandfather Bishop knew when Elizabeth was playing there. “God-like,” he could be generous too. ” he asked one day of the child hiding under the tablecloth. And soon Elizabeth was “overjoyed” to be taking lessons with Mrs. Darling, although the young pupil teetered on the piano bench, her legs too short to reach the pedals.

She was glad to leave Revere for boarding school at the end of the summer she was fifteen, after the failed rendezvous with Mike. Walnut Hill School, a college preparatory school for girls on the outskirts of Natick, Massachusetts, was like camp, only better. It lasted longer, September to June. Except for a bout with asthma that compromised her freshman year, Elizabeth stayed on until she graduated at nineteen. School was school, drudgery at times—especially algebra and geometry—but there were plays every semester to act in (she loved dressing up as the male villain), concerts to attend at nearby Wellesley College and in Boston (she saved the program for Prokofiev’s Wellesley recital after shaking the composer’s hand), hymns to sing every morning at chapel, a Glee Club to join, and a literary magazine, the Blue Pencil, to write for and finally to serve as its editor in chief.

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Elizabeth Bishop: A Miracle for Breakfast by Megan Marshall

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