The Selected Letters of Anthony Hecht

Colm Tóibín writes:

In January 1945, as she was preparing her collection North & South for publication, Elizabeth Bishop wrote to her publishers to say she was worried that she had written nothing about the war:

The fact that none of these poems deal directly with the war, at a time when so much war poetry is being published, will, I am afraid, leave me open to reproach. The chief reason is simply that I work very slowly. But I think it would help some if a note to the effect that most of the poems had been written, or begun at least, before 1941, could be inserted at the beginning, say just after the acknowledgments.

(LRB 8 August 2013)

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