Louise Bogan: A Portrait

Louise Bogan: A Portrait

by Elizabeth Frank

Paperback(1st ed)

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A full-scale biography of the distinguished lyric poet, translator, and critic details the highs and lows of her elegant and sorrowful life and the steady growth and influence of her work. Winner of the 1986 Pulitzer Prize for Biography.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780394524849
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/12/1985
Edition description: 1st ed
Pages: 496

About the Author


New York, New York

Place of Birth:

Los Angeles, California


B.A., The University of California, Berkeley, 1967; M.A., 1969; Ph.D. 1973

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Louise Bogan: A Portrait 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
labwriter on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I don't write reviews, as a general rule, and I don't want to write one here; however, I will tell enough so that people who might be interested can get an idea what Louise Bogan was about. Her dates: 1897-1970. She was born in New England and was a New Yorker by choice, living in apartments in Manhattan most of her life. She was an important, lifelong poet who poured herself into her poetry; a hugely intelligent woman who all her life felt her lack of formal education (she attended Boston University for one year, worked well enough to receive a scholarship to Radcliffe, and left college to marry at the age of 19). Actually, I guess she was married twice. She had a daughter from her first marriage who was largely raised by Louise's parents; she was married a second time, but divorced her second husband, Raymond Holden, after about a decade of marriage. She lived alone for the rest of her life. W.H. Auden wrote of her, at the end of her life: "What aside from their technical excellence is most impressive about her poems is the unflinching courage with which she faced her problems, her determination never to surrender to self-pity, but to wrest beauty and joy out of dark places" (417). I'm giving this 4.5 stars, not 5, mainly because it seemed to me that the biographer rushed the last 15 to 20 years of her life. I was hoping for more detail about the mature years of this fascinating woman, even though those were not her most productive years as a poet. Bogan also worked for almost 30 years at The New Yorker, as their main poetry reviewer. She also published many book reviews and quite a few short stories. Her poetry is collected in The Blue Estuaries; her prose, which is intelligent, sometimes harsh and snarky, and overall wonderful, can be found in A Poet's Prose Selected Writings of Louise Bogan.