"I am 3/4ths Canadian, and one 4th New Englander - I had ancestors on both sides in the Revolutionary war." - Elizabeth Bishop

Friday, September 27, 2019

From Pen to Hook: Part 9

We know from Bishop's letters that the poem that inspired this rug, "The Owl's Journey," was one that Bishop lived with for a long time. She believed the idea came to her in a dream when she was a child, but she wasn't sure. She tried for decades to finish it, but could never find the path to that conclusion. She shared versions of it with friends, including Katharine White, her editor at The New Yorker, but she never published any during her life. Her university friend, the artist Margaret Miller was the first to render the image of the owl riding on the rabbit's back. Alice Quinn finally put it into print in Edgar Allen Poe & the Juke Box (2006). Lighthall's rendition of this fable-like idea and poem is faithful to what Bishop imagined, and looks wonderfully child-like, like an image from a child's dream.

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