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Elizabeth Bishop Poetry

Elizabeth Bishop (February 8, 1911 – October 6, 1979) was an American poet and short-story writer. She was Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 1949 to 1950, the Pulitzer Prize winner for Poetry in 1956, the National Book Award winner in 1970, and the recipient of the Neustadt Inte... Read More

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Wasted, wasted minutes that couldn't be worse,
minutes of a barbaric condescension.
--Stare out

There are too many waterfalls here; the crowded streams
hurry too rapidly down to the sea,
and t

The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost tha

In the cold, cold parlor
my mother laid out Arthur
beneath the chromographs:
Edward, Prince of Wa

For John Malcolm Brinnin and Bill Read: Duxbury


It was cold and windy, scarcely the day
to ta

Oh, why should a hen
have been run over
on West 4th Street
in the middle of summer?

She was a

It is so peaceful on the ceiling!
It is the Place de la Concorde.
The little crystal chandelier
i

Beneath that loved and celebrated breast,
silent, bored really blindly veined,
grieves, maybe

Remembering the Strait of Belle Isle or
some northerly harbor of Labrador,
before he became a scho

At six o'clock we were waiting for coffee,
waiting for coffee and the charitable crumb
that was

Land lies in water; it is shadowed green.
Shadows, or are they shallows, at its edges
showing the

I am too big. Too big by far. Pity me.
My eyes bulge and hurt. They are my one great beauty, even

The rain has stopped. The waterfall will roar like that all
night. I have come out to take a walk

I am in need of music that would flow
Over my fretful, feeling finger-tips,
Over my bitter-tainted

The roaring alongside he takes for granted,
and that every so often the world is bound to shake.
H

To the sagging wharf
few ships could come.
The population numbered
two giants, an idiot, a dwarf,

For Louise Crane


In your next letter I wish you'd say
where you are going and what you are doi

We'd rather have the iceberg than the ship,
although it meant the end of travel.
Although it sto

The still explosions on the rocks,
the lichens, grow
by spreading, gray, concentric shocks.
They

Alone on the railroad track
I walked with pounding heart.
The ties were too close together
or may

it is marvellous to wake up together
At the same minute; marvellous to hear
The rain begin suddenl

Unfunny uncles who insist
in trying on a lady's hat,
--oh, even if the joke falls flat,
we share

I live only here, between your eyes and you,
But I live in your world. What do I do?
--Collect n

I am in need of music that would flow
Over my fretful, feeling finger-tips,
Over my bitter-tainted

Hidden, oh hidden
in the high fog
the house we live in,
beneath the magnetic rock,
rain-, ra

Now can you see the monument? It is of wood
built somewhat like a box. No. Built
like several boxe

Days that cannot bring you near
or will not,
Distance trying to appear
something more obstinate,

We must admire her perfect aim,
this huntress of the winter air
whose level weapon needs no sigh

Earliest morning, switching all the tracks
that cross the sky from cinder star to star,
coupling t

Here is a coast; here is a harbor;
here, after a meager diet of horizon, is some scenery:
imprac

For Robert Lowell

This is the time of year
when almost every night
the frail, illegal fire ball

On the unbreathing sides of hills
they play, a specklike girl and boy,
alone, but near a specklike

I dreamed that dead, and meditating,
I lay upon a grave, or bed,
(at least, some cold and close-bu

This celestial seascape, with white herons got up as angels,
flying high as they want and as far as

The moon in the bureau mirror
looks out a million miles
(and perhaps with pride, at herself,
but

For Thomas Edwards Wanning


Think of the storm roaming the sky uneasily
like a dog looking for

Oh, but it is dirty!
--this little filling station,
oil-soaked, oil-permeated
to a disturbing, ov

At low tide like this how sheer the water is.
White, crumbling ribs of marl protrude and glare
and

For Grace Bulmer Bowers


From narrow provinces
of fish and bread and tea,
home of the long tid

I

A washing hangs upon the line,
but it's not mine.
None of the things that I can see
belon

Love's the boy stood on the burning deck
trying to recite `The boy stood on
the burning deck.' Lov

The tumult in the heart
keeps asking questions.
And then it stops and undertakes to answer
in

The state with the prettiest name,
the state that floats in brackish water,
held together by mangr

This is the house of Bedlam.

This is the man
that lies in the house of Bedlam.

This is the ti

This is a day when truths will out, perhaps;
leak from the dangling telephone earphones
sapping th

Moving from left to left, the light
is heavy on the Dome, and coarse.
One small lunette turns it a

The great light cage has broken up in the air,
freeing, I think, about a million birds
whose wil

Given to Frank Bidart]


You won't become a gourmet* cook
By studying our Fannie's book--
He

He sleeps on the top of a mast. - Bunyan


He sleeps on the top of a mast
with his eyes fast clo

Minnow, go to sleep and dream,
Close your great big eyes;
Round your bed Events prepare
The pleas

Each day with so much ceremony
begins, with birds, with bells,
with whistles from a factory;
suc

Out on the high "bird islands," Ciboux and Hertford,
the razorbill auks and the silly-looking puff

September rain falls on the house.
In the failing light, the old grandmother
sits in the kitchen w

[Brazil. A friend of the writer is speaking.]


Half squatter, half tenant (no rent)—
a sort

& nbsp; Here, above,
cracks in the buldings are filled with battered moonlight.
The whole shadow o

In Worcester, Massachusetts,
I went with Aunt Consuelo
to keep her dentist's appointment
and sat

From Brooklyn, over the Brooklyn Bridge, on this fine morning,
please come flying.
In a cloud

This is not my home. How did I get so far from water? It must
be over that way somewhere.
I am t

Caught -- the bubble
in the spirit level,
a creature divided;
and the compass needle
wobbling an

At four o'clock
in the gun-metal blue dark
we hear the first crow of the first cock

just below

The brown enormous odor he lived by
was too close, with its breathing and thick hair,
for him to j

I am in need of music that would flow
Over my fretful, feeling fingertips,
Over my bitter-tainted,

In Memoriam: Robert Lowell

I can make out the rigging of a schooner
a mile off; I can count
th

About the size of an old-style dollar bill,
American or Canadian,
mostly the same whites, gray gre

Although it is a cold evening,
down by one of the fishhouses
an old man sits netting,
his net, in

Across the floor flits the mechanical toy,
fit for a king of several centuries back.
A little circ

Tended by Faustina
yes in a crazy house
upon a crazy bed,
frail, of chipped enamel,
blooming abo

I caught a tremendous fish
and held him beside the boat
half out of water, with my hook
fast in a

For a Child of 1918

My grandfather said to me
as we sat on the wagon seat,
"Be sure to remember

On the fair green hills of Rio
There grows a fearful stain:
The poor who come to Rio
And can't go

Elizabeth Bishop Poetry

Elizabeth Bishop (February 8, 1911 – October 6, 1979) was an American poet and short-story writer. She was Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 1949 to 1950, the Pulitzer Prize winner for Poetry in 1956, the National Book Award winner in 1970, and the recipient of the Neustadt International Prize for Literature in 1976.... Read More