Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell

Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell

I sent you a postcard just as I was leaving N.Y., but I had to put so many stamps on it I probably completely covered up my message.
Elizabeth Bishop to Robert Lowell, 26 November 1951 (in Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence Between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell, edited by Thomas Travisano, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008).
He’s like an express train running through a tunnel—one shriek, sparks, smoke and gone.
Virginia Woolf to poet Stephen Spender, 25 June 1935 (in The Letters of Virginia Woolf, vol. 5, edited by Nigel Nicolson, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1979).

William Carlos Williams (top), James Laughlin (bottom)

What I am looking for is the little pleasures of life, one here, one there, something the kid does, or a good page in a book, or the sun out on the new snow—stuff like that, that adds up to a feeling of general well-being. The hell with reputations, making money, poets’ jealousies, ambitions, wars, struggles of all kinds, and mostly anything that impinges on the effect in life of a good art form.
James Laughlin to William Carlos Williams, 6 March 1943 (in William Carlos Williams and James Laughlin: selected letters, edited by Hugh Witemeyer, W.W. Norton, 1989).
Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell

Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell

Your marvelous second post-Amazon letter arrived yesterday, while Ted Roethke was just ending a visit. Poor thing, a mammoth yet elfinlike, hairless, red-faced, beginning the day with a shot of bourbon, speechless except for shrewd grunted asides—behind him nervous breakdowns, before him—what?
Robert Lowell to Elizabeth Bishop, 28 April 1960 (in The Letters of Robert Lowell, edited by Saskia Hamilton, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005).
Allen Ginsberg and Robert Lowell at St Mark’s Church, New York City, February 23, 1977.

Allen Ginsberg and Robert Lowell at St Mark’s Church, New York City, February 23, 1977.

I think letters ought to be written the way you think poetry ought be. So let this be breezy, brief, incomplete, but spontaneous and not dishonestly holding back.
Robert Lowell to Allen Ginsberg, 10 April 1959 (in The Letters of Robert Lowell, edited by Saskia Hamilton, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005).
I think you are the only living poet altho [sic]. I am glad to read Herr Elliot’s [sic] adventure away from impeccability. If Herr Elliot [sic] would strangle his sick wife, buggar the brain specialist and rob the bank he might written an even better poem.
Ernest Hemingway to Ezra Pound, 8 November 1922 (in The Letters of Ernest Hemingway, volume 1, 1907-1922, edited by Sandra Spanier and Robert W. Trogdon, Cambridge University Press, 2011).