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One Art & Some Paintings by Elizabeth Bishop

  • Elizabeth Bishop
    Casabianca

    Love’s the boy stood on the burning deck
    trying to recite `The boy stood on
    the burning deck.’ Love’s the son
    stood stammering elocution
    while the poor ship in flames went down.

    Love’s the obstinate boy, the ship,
    even the swimming sailors, who
    would like a schoolroom platform, too,
    or an excuse to stay
    on deck. And love’s the burning boy.

    Elizabeth Bishop

    February 8, 1911 – October 6, 1979

    Bishop’s friend and Vassar peer, the writer Mary McCarthy stated, “Certainly between Bishop and Marianne Moore there are resemblances: the sort of close microscopic inspection of certain parts of experience. [However,] I think there is something a bit too demure about Marianne Moore, and there’s nothing demure about Elizabeth Bishop.”[9] Moore helped Bishop first publish some of her poems in an anthology called Trial Balances in which established poets introduced the work of unknown, younger poets.

  • Reaching for the Moon – Brazilian film on Elizabeth Bishop (trailer)

  • Almost an orphan

    Elizabeth Bishop, an only child, was born in Worcester, Massachusetts. After her father, a successful builder, died when she was eight months old, Bishop’s mother became mentally ill and was institutionalized in 1916 (and Bishop would later write about the time of her mother’s struggles in her short story “In The Village”).[3] Effectively orphaned during her very early childhood, she lived with her grandparents on a farm in Great Village, Nova Scotia, a period she also referenced in her writing. Bishop’s mother remained in an asylum until her death in 1934, and the two were never reunited (via wiki)

  • John Ashbery on Elizabeth Bishop (Audio archive)

    Elizabeth Bishop is a poet in whom the two kinds of I/eye are fully, and beautifully, fused. We do not read her to discover the details of her biography, yet I feel that we end up knowing her— and I feel it all the more intensely in Key West, every time I walk past that little house, tucked behind the pandanus bush— better than many poets who set out to inform us about the particulars of their lives.

    Her painting click to see large

    Her work is a widely recognized force in American poetry. Far less known is that Bishop was also an accomplished artist.

    See more illustrations and paintings by Elizabeth Bishop here.

    Must we dream our dreams?’

    Described as ‘the writer’s writer’s writer’, Elizabeth Bishop was one of the great 20th-century poets. William Boyd visits the house in Brazil she shared with her lover Lota, where she spent the happiest years of her turbulent life and wrote many of her best poems

  • Paris Review – Interview

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