Thursday, April 06, 2006

Bishop Redux

Helen Vendler in New Republic has problems with the new Elizabeth Bishop collection at Powell's Review-A-Day website. She makes a perusuasive case and I admit to being a bit disappointed although I will still buy the book.

The Art of Losing
A review by Helen Vendler

"This book should not have been issued with its present subtitle of "Uncollected Poems, Drafts, and Fragments." It should have been called "Repudiated Poems." For Elizabeth Bishop had years to publish the poems included here, had she wanted to publish them. They remained unpublished (not "uncollected") because, for the most part, they did not meet her fastidious standards (althougha few, such as the completed love poem "It is marvellous to wake up together," may have been withheld out of prudence). Students eagerly wanting to buy "the new book by Elizabeth Bishop" should be told to go back and buy the old one, where the poet represents herself as she wished to be known. The eighty-odd poems that this famous perfectionist allowed to be printed over the years are"Elizabeth Bishop" as a poet. This book is not. "

Continues here:

Times article about Vendler review here:

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