Monday, October 07, 2019

Maybe in place and on time …

… Elizabeth Bishop: out of place or out of time – Michael Hofmann. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

At Vassar, she was “the Bish”, had an early, nay, prophetic taste for tweed, was recorded in the 1930 yearbook as “Bishop of the barbarous hair”. There was something out of place or out of time about her, or both; attributable perhaps, partly, to spending her earliest years in Nova Scotia, and having three grandparents who were Canadian. A singer of hymns and a student of the harpsichord, her favourite poets George Herbert and Gerard Manley Hopkins and Baudelaire – was she more seventeenth-century, or nineteenth? A delayed Metaphysical or a fearless Victorian traveller in pelerine and hat and veil? 

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