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“I went to see [George] Santayana daily. The talk ranged from autobiography, philosophical theories on world politics, Aristotle’s theory of sensation, Spanish quotations, ideas on Boston, lots of very catty and very good gossip and above all Boston and religion. The meetings were delightful for me and perfect, except that he is deaf and couldn’t hear a word—shouted or whispered—that I said.”

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source: letter to Elizabeth Bishop, dated December 6, 1950, written from Florence, in Words in Air (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010), 115.

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medium: Letter

“When I was a teenager in Boston, a man on the subway handed me a card printed with tiny pictures of hands spelling out the alphabet in sign language. I AM DEAF, said the card. You were supposed to give the man some money in exchange.
        I have thought of that card ever since, during difficult times, mine or someone else’s: surely when tragedy has struck you dumb, you should be given a stack of cards that explain it for you.”

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source: An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination (New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2008), 73.

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medium: memoir

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