Elizabeth Bishop

Overview

In this finely written companion to Elizabeth Bishop's poetry, Bonnie Costello gives a compelling use of Bishop and her ways of seeing and writing.
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Overview

In this finely written companion to Elizabeth Bishop's poetry, Bonnie Costello gives a compelling use of Bishop and her ways of seeing and writing.
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Editorial Reviews

Women's Review of Books<br>
Essential reading for anyone interested in Elizabeth Bishop's life and art . . . Bishop's struggle as an heir to modernism comes alive in Costello's precise prose.
Belles Lettres Judith Farr
Elizabeth Bishop: Questions of Mastery explores the connection between the poet's descriptive passion arid her ecphrastic imagination. Costello is interested in ... stratagems of design to which Bishop resorts in a desire for mastery over world and self ... The connections Costello makes between modern art and modern poetry are valuable, imaginative, and licit.
Harvard Review Brett Miller
Costello traces Bishop's progress toward her quite clear rejection of 'the magisterial claims of art' in a series of dazzlingly close readings of the poems, including a handful that have rarely been discussed . . . I have been reading Bishop for ten years. and it seems to me that until l read Costello's explications of 'Over 2000 Illustrations and a Complete Concordance, ''Roosters' and 'Pink Dog,' I had not read them at all.
Women's Review of Books
Essential reading for anyone interested in Elizabeth Bishop's life and art . . . Bishop's struggle as an heir to modernism comes alive in Costello's precise prose.
Judith Farr
Elizabeth Bishop: Questions of Mastery explores the connection between the poet's descriptive passion arid her ecphrastic imagination. Costello is interested in ... stratagems of design to which Bishop resorts in a desire for mastery over world and self ... The connections Costello makes between modern art and modern poetry are valuable, imaginative, and licit.
Brett Miller
Costello traces Bishop's progress toward her quite clear rejection of 'the magisterial claims of art' in a series of dazzlingly close readings of the poems, including a handful that have rarely been discussed . . . I have been reading Bishop for ten years. and it seems to me that until l read Costello's explications of 'Over 2000 Illustrations and a Complete Concordance, ''Roosters' and 'Pink Dog,' I had not read them at all.
David Bromwich
A guide to Bishop's poetry and an appreciation of her unique qualities as an observer. The generous quotations from letters, drafts, journals, and occasional prose sketches both deepen and confirm the analysis here, and make the result a work of criticism that has some of the suggestive power of biography.
Library Journal
As her title suggests, Costello argues through close reading of several poems that Bishop's ``strong urge for order and dominance'' or ``mastery'' is balanced by her insistence on ``encountering'' and even ``exhilarating'' in ``the mess of life.'' Costello provides a stronger sense of individual poems and of the poet's intellectual dilemmas than of her gestalt of life. It may be that her wish to avoid political issues prevents her from philosophical as well as psychobiographical speculation about what drives Bishop's competing desires for mastery and constraint or flux and freedom. Yet Costello's readings are both so detailed and so insightful that her cumulative vision of the poet is profound and sustaining. Highly recommended.-- Cristanne Miller, Pomona Coll., Claremont, Cal.
Booknews
Draws on unpublished journals, letters, and manuscripts to show how American poet Bishop (1911-79) desired both personal and artistic mastery, but acknowledged the dangers of such a desire. Costello (English, Boston U.) won the 1982 Explicator Award for a book on Marianne Moore. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674246904
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/1993
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 0.59 (w) x 6.14 (h) x 9.21 (d)

Meet the Author

Bonnie Costello, Professor of English at Boston University, is the general editor of The Selected Letters of Marianne Moore.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

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