Treasure Island

Elizabeth Bishop

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

Quotations

  • ''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.
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  • ''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 Giroux.
  • ''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 Giroux.
  • ''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 student of Blake.''
    Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979), U.S. poet. Sandpiper (l. 1-4). . . The Complete Poems, 1927-1979 [Elizabeth Bishop]. (1983) Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
  • ''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 Giroux.
  • ''this cartoon by Raphael for a tapestry for a Pope:''
    Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979), U.S. poet. Seascape (l. 12). . . The Complete Poems, 1927-1979 [Elizabeth Bishop]. (1983) Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
  • ''With crayons the child draws a rigid house
    and a winding pathway. Then the child
    puts in a man with buttons like tears''
    Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979), U.S. poet. Sestina (l. 27-29). . . The Complete Poems, 1927-1979 [Elizabeth Bishop]. (1983) Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
  • ''I know what I know, says the almanac.''
    Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979), U.S. poet. Sestina (l. 26). . . The Complete Poems, 1927-1979 [Elizabeth Bishop]. (1983) Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
  • ''Time to plant tears, says the almanac.
    The grandmother sings to the marvellous stove
    and the child draws another inscrutable house.''
    Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979), U.S. poet. Sestina (l. 37-39). . . The Complete Poems, 1927-1979 [Elizabeth Bishop]. (1983) Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
  • ''The armored cars of dreams, contrived to let us do so many a dangerous thing.''
    Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979), U.S. poet. "Sleeping Standing Up," st. 2, Poems: North and South a Cold Spring (1955).

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Little Exercise

For Thomas Edwards Wanning


Think of the storm roaming the sky uneasily
like a dog looking for a place to sleep in,
listen to it growling.

Think how they must look now, the mangrove keys
lying out there unresponsive to the lightning

[Hata Bildir]