"The enormous power of reticence --
Elizabeth Bishop. North & South. Boston:
Houghton Mifflin Company, .
that is the great lesson of the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop."
-- Octavio Paz
First edition, first printing. Octavo. 54 pages.
Publisher's blue cloth, with lettering and compass device in silver. Minor wear to cloth at extremities; very minor fading along top and bottom board edges. One corner very lightly bumped. Foxing and significant offsetting to endpapers; otherwise, pages quite clean. Dust jacket with printed price of $2.00, chipped along edges with a few closed tears and some surface wear to spine; light foxing to rear panel, and a department store price sticker on the rear flap. A better than very good copy. Bishop's first book, only 1,000 copies printed. Scarce.
One of the most critically-acclaimed poets of the twentieth century, Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979) served as Poet Laureate and won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for poetry. The publication of her first book of poetry drew immediate and profound attention. She was championed by influential poet and critic Randall Jarrell, whose unwavering praise helped to establish her as one of her generation's greatest poets: "the people of the future [...] will read her just as they will read Dickinson or Whitman or Stevens, or the other classical American poets still alive among us." Her close friend, the great poet Robert Lowell, wrote: "Elizabeth Bishop is the contemporary poet that I admire most.... There's a beautiful completeness to all of Bishop's poetry. I don't think anyone alive has a better eye than she had: The eye that sees things and the mind behind the eye that remembers." A stunning debut, and a cornerstone in modernist American poetry.
Randall Jarrell, "The Year in Poetry " in Harper's magazine. Candace W. MacMahon, Elizabeth Bishop, A Bibliography, A1. Octavio Paz, "Elizabeth Bishop, or the Power of Reticence."
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