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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Love Lies Sleeping

Earliest morning, switching all the tracks
that cross the sky from cinder star to star,
coupling the ends of streets
to trains of light.

now draw us into daylight in our beds;
and clear away what presses on the brain:
put out the neon shapes
that float and swell and glare

[Hata Bildir]