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Charles McGrathPart of what makes the letters so interesting is that they frequently don't sound like Lowell the poet. He was a meticulous, sometimes obsessive rewriter of his published work, which even at its most colloquial has an almost classical polish. On the other hand, his letters, as Saskia Hamilton points out in an introduction, were spontaneous and immediate, and in them we hear the voice of Lowell the person, not Lowell the formidable public figure.
— The New York Times