Monday, March 13, 2006
EDGAR ALLEN POE & THE JUKEBOX by Elizabeth Bishop
So EDGAR ALLEN POE & THE JUKEBOX, Elizabeth Bishop’s drafts and fragments, is finally available. I fear there’s going to be a lot of backlash against the book, and I may be biased—Bishop is very important to me, I love Alice Quinn, the editor, and I interviewed her for PW (see the link to the right)—but I urge skeptical would be readers to give the book a chance. Alice did an extremely loving job with it, being careful to contextualize these poems as drafts, not finished pieces. If you saw some of them in the New Yorker, that was the wrong place for them to appear. Their place is with each other, where you can experience the buildup of Bishop’s voice over the cours of many poems and many years. This is a wonderful book, and a treasure trove for anyone who loves Bishop. You will find many things that will make you happy, especially “Breakfast Song,” probably my current favorite in the book.
Posted by Craig Morgan Teicher at 3/13/2006