Derek Walcott Remembers Elizabeth Hardwick

In the NYRB:

Distance requires formality, but I cannot be distant writing about Lizzie Hardwick since everything has come alarmingly closer—the curls, the infectious chuckles, the drawl like poured-out honey, the privilege of sharing her astute delight, and the benign devastations of her wit. Because she hated pomposity she was more fun than any American writer I have known. She preferred gaiety to malice and had the laugh to go with it. Memories of her rise like butterflies from a bush, all darting, elate, and light; the use of three adjectives is the signature of her style, perhaps because of the precise languor of her Kentucky accent.

That meter entered her husband’s poems and Cal sometimes sounded as if he were talking in Elizabeth’s voice, as Robert Lowell blended into Elizabeth Hardwick.