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New England

“Just to live in New England in winter is a full-time job; you don’t have to ‘do’ anything. The idle pursuit of making-a-living is pushed to one side, where it belongs, in favor of living itself, a task of such immediacy, variety, beauty, and excitement that one is powerless to resist its wild embrace.”

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source: “A Report in January,” in Essays of E. B. White (New York: Harper & Row, 1977), 46.

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medium: Essay

“I think almost the last straw here though is the hairdresser, a nice big hearty Maine girl who asks me questions I don’t even know the answers to. She told me: 1, that my hair ‘don’t feel like hair at all.’ 2, I was turning gray practically ‘under her eyes.’ And when I’d said yes, I was an orphan, she said ‘Kind of awful, ain’t it, ploughing through life alone.’ So now I can’t walk downstairs in the morning or upstairs at night without feeling like I’m ploughing. There’s no place like New England.”

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source: letter to Robert Lowell, dated Sunday, July 11, 1948, in Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence Between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010), 42-43.

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medium: letter

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