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  1. I could not get through this poem on the first read without choking up. Bishop took years to complete the work. She showed it first to her close friend Lowell in 1951. It was written as the first two verses only. He told her it seemed unfinished. They occasionally met in Central Park and read one another’s poems for literary critique. They were long-time friends and wrote letters throughout their lives to one another. Lowell was hopelessly in love with Bishop. The poem was completed after Bishop’s former lover and patron,an accomplished Brazilian architect named Lota,committed suicide in Bishop’s New York apartment when she realized their romantic relationship was over.

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