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Elizabeth Bishop

(8 February 1911 – 6 October 1979 / Worcester, Massachusetts)

Elizabeth Bishop
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Elizabeth Bishop was an American poet and short-story writer. She was the Poet Laureate of the United States from 1949 to 1950, a Pulitzer Prize winner in 1956 and a National Book Award Winner for Poetry in 1970. Elizabeth Bishop House is an artists' retreat in Great Village, Nova Scotia dedicated to her memory. She is considered one of the most important and distinguished American poets of the 20th century.

Early Years

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. (Bishop wrote about the time ... more »

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Quotations

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  • ''What childishness is it that while there's breath of life
    in our bodies, we are determined to rush
    to see the sun the other way around?''
    Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979), U.S. poet. "Questions of Travel." Bishop, an avid traveler, spent the last 16 years of her life in Brazil.
  • ''His beak is focussed; he is preoccupied,

    looking for something, something, something.
    Poor bird, he is obsessed!''
    Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979), U.S. poet. Sandpiper (l. 16-18). . . The Complete Poems, 1927-1979 [Elizabeth Bishop]. (1983) Farrar, Straus and Gir...
  • ''The millions of grains are black, white, tan, and gray,
    and mixed with quartz grains, rose and amethyst.''
    Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979), U.S. poet. Sandpiper (l. 19-20). . . The Complete Poems, 1927-1979 [Elizabeth Bishop]. (1983) Farrar, Straus and Gir...
  • The roaring alongside he takes for granted,
    and that every so often the world is bound to shake.
    He runs, he runs to the south, finical, awkward,
    in a state of controlled panic, a...
    Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979), U.S. poet. Sandpiper (l. 1-4). . . The Complete Poems, 1927-1979 [Elizabeth Bishop]. (1983) Farrar, Straus and Girou...
  • ''Heaven is not like flying or swimming,
    but has something to do with blackness and a strong glare''
    Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979), U.S. poet. Seascape (l. 20-21). . . The Complete Poems, 1927-1979 [Elizabeth Bishop]. (1983) Farrar, Straus and Giro...
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Comments about Elizabeth Bishop

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  • S B (5/6/2014 4:42:00 PM)

    Though she is not as famous, she is a great poet in my perspective.

  • Esther Larry (4/24/2014 7:18:00 PM)

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  • Tim Martin (8/23/2009 9:55:00 AM)

    Argh! Webmasters! ...please get that 'a' out of the last line of 'One Art' (right before 'disaster') . Incorrect, and ruins the poem!

  • James Mcgrath (7/27/2009 5:48:00 PM)

    I personally love Bishop's work and find it hard to believe that others find it difficult to comprehend. She paints such a clear picture, creating the a link between herself and the reader. This is evident through her intense eye for detail. She is truly a wonderful poet of our time.

  • Lisa Bray (4/24/2009 4:59:00 PM)

    my moms grandparents was named bishop?

  • Brianna Sungenis (3/27/2007 9:47:00 PM)

    The poem Conversation is short but is very confusing and I don't think she really explains the meaning to the reader.

  • Linda Corrales (10/24/2005 4:58:00 PM)

    I do not like her poem the fish. It is getting on my nerves because we have to write a paper on it and I am struggling.

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