Poems: The Centenary Edition

Michael Hofmann writes:

It is John Ashbery who takes the cake – in this case, the triple-decker cake with the solitary little sugar bride on top – for his description of Elizabeth Bishop: she is ‘the poets’ poets’ poet’. It sounds farcical, but it’s strictly true, and there’s as little getting round it as there is improving on it. As I begin, therefore, I feel stirrings of a wholly impersonal desire maybe to pan her. No, not really, but where else have the culture vultures not been, with their guides and follow-me signs?

(LRB 8 September 2011)

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