Monday, October 31, 2022

"The old man accepts a Lucky Strike": Lucky Strikes and Elizabeth Bishop's "At the Fishhouses"

This morning, while preparing Elizabeth Bishop's "At the Fishhouses" (from "North & South", 1946) for discussion in my seminar on Bishop's poetry, I looked up the history of the cigarette brand mentioned in the poem: "The old man accepts a Lucky Strike." It began as a brand of chewing tobacco in 1871, with the cigarettes only introduced later. During the 1930s and 1940s, when Bishop wrote the poem, the brand was very popular in the United States. Among many cultural references to Lucky Strikes, the Lucky Strike Wikipedia page does not mention Bishop's poem. If I knew how to edit Wikipedia pages, I'd put in an entry for the poem now. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 31 October 2022)

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