Saturday, July 18, 2020

Irish Times Do Robert Lowell A Favour

Lucy Sweeney Byrne’s article on Elizabeth Hardwick’s Sleepless Nights (Irish Times July 11) was good for a hollow laugh. Commenting on Hardwick’s fraught relationship with the poet Robert Lowell, Byrne described him as “clutching” “a photograph of his third wife Caroline Blackwood” when he died of a heart attack in a New York taxi. Lowell had just left Blackwood and was returning to Hardwick who was his second wife. The alleged photo was in fact a painting of Blackwood by Lucien Freud. So perhaps less a poignant reminder and more a substantial asset.