Patrick McCaughey reviews 'The Collected Essays of Elizabeth Hardwick' edited by Darryl Pinckney

Elizabeth Hardwick is, unfairly, better known outside of New York as Robert Lowell’s second wife, who heroically endured twenty-three years of tumultuous and tortuous marriage. She inspired his finest love poetry:

All night I’ve held your hand,
as if you had
a fourth time faced the kingdom of the mad –
its hackneyed speech, its homicidal eye –
and dragged me home alive …
Sleepless, you hold
your pillow to your hollows like a child,
your old-fashioned tirade –
loving, rapid, merciless –
breaks like the Atlantic Ocean on my head,

 

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Published in April 2018, no. 400