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Its heft and hush became a bright nowhere,
A soul ramifying and forever
Silent, beyond silence listened for.
I loved his ten demented chickens
and the hell-eyed dog, the mailbox
shaped like a huge green gun.
Early in my life Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell gave me the great gift of their friendship. The dilemma they faced at the beginning of their writing life is the same dilemma that every serious poet has faced since—how to add something to the tradition of Modernism without betraying it.