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).
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).
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).
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).