The Man in the Newspaper Hat – 2009
Performed: - New York City, Aug 09, 2022
Inspired by Elizabeth Bishop’s poem “Visits to St.Elizabeths“, the play is a fictionalized portrayal of Bishop’s visits to Ezra Pound in her function as Consultant to Poetry of the Library of Congress between 1949-1950.
Pound, founder of Modernist Poetry and mentor to a generation of poets, but infamous for his pro-fascist and anti-semitic rants over Radio Rome during WWII, was remanded to St.Elizabeths after having been declared unfit to stand trial for high treason. Each scene builds upon aspects of the poem, as Bishop meets with Pound, seeking the writer, the poet under the rubble of his disastrous political theories.
They discuss and disagree on what makes a good poem, how important is poetic lineage, dreams, and the work. As Pound slowly loses his religion, Bishop begins to find the Man, the poem, her poem.