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

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Two Arts – EBSNS Virtual Exhibit 2020 – Part 10

“Dear Dr. Foster”

Bishop underwent psychoanalysis with Dr. Ruth Foster in 1945-1946. One of the results of this therapy was a return to Nova Scotia after a sixteen-year hiatus. The trip was difficult, but it was also rewarding because it triggered several breakthrough poems, including “At the Fishhouses.” She knew how important her sessions with Foster had been and while in Halifax, Bishop began to write a poem for her therapist and friend. She never finished it, but as Natallia says in her Artist’s Statement, it was this fragmentary poem that prompted her first Bishop-inspired drawing. Dreams and memories were vital inner forces in Bishop’s poetics. She wrote years latter to Anne Stevenson that she used “dream material” whenever she was lucky enough to have it. And her poems are abundant with memories.


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