The agreeable eye

an eudæmonistarchives

January 2008

anonymous admirer

13 January 2008, around 13.30.

There was something about her good friend T. S. Eliot that seemed to amuse Marianne [Moore]. On Eliot’s first visit to Brooklyn after his marriage to Valerie, his young wife asked them to pose together for her for a snapshot. Valerie said, ‘Tom, put your arm around Marianne.’ I asked if he had. Marianne gave a short deprecatory laugh and said, ‘Yes, he did, but very gingerly.’ Toward the last, Marianne entrusted her Eliot letters for safekeeping with Robert Giroux, who told me that with each letter of the poet’s she had preserved the envelope in which it had come. One envelope bore Marianne’s Brooklyn address in Eliot’s handwriting, but no return address or other identification. Within, there was a sheet of yellow pad paper on which was drawn a large heart pierced by an arrow, with the words ‘from an anonymous and grateful admirer.’

—Elizabeth Bishop, ‘Efforts of Affection’, pp. 153f.

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