I am too big. Too big by far. Pity me.
My eyes bulge and hurt. They are my one great beauty, even
so. They see too much, above, below. And yet, there is not much
to see. The rain has stopped. The mist is gathering on my skin
in drops. The drops run down my back, run from the corners of
my downturned mouth, run down my sides and drip beneath
my belly. Perhaps the droplets on my mottled hide are pretty,
like dewdrops, silver on a moldering leaf? They chill me
through and through. I feel my colors changing now, my pig-
ments gradually shudder and shift over.
Now I shall get beneath that overhanging ledge. Slowly. Hop.
Two or three times more, silently. That was too far. I'm
standing up. The lichen's gray, and rough to my front feet. Get
down. Turn facing out, it's safer. Don't breathe until the snail
gets by. But we go travelling the same weathers.
Swallow the air and mouthfuls of cold mist. Give voice, just
once. O how it echoed from the rock! What a profound, angelic
bell I rang!
I live, I breathe, by swallowing. Once, some naughty children
picked me up, me and two brothers. They set us down again
somewhere and in our mouths they put lit cigarettes. We could
not help but smoke them, to the end. I thought it was the death
of me, but when I was entirely filled with smoke, when my slack
mouth was burning, and all my tripes were hot and dry, they
let us go. But I was sick for days.
I have big shoulders, like a boxer. They are not muscle,
however, and their color is dark. They are my sacs of poison,
the almost unused poison that I bear, my burden and my great
responsibility. Big wings of poison, folded on my back. Beware,
I am an angel in disguise; my wings are evil, but not deadly. If
I will it, the poison could break through, blue-black, and
dangerous to all. Blue-black fumes would rise upon the air.
Beware, you frivolous crab.
Elizabeth Bishop's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Giant Toad by Elizabeth Bishop )
The Road Not Taken
If You Forget Me
Still I Rise
Edgar Allan Poe
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
William Ernest Henley
Did you read them?
- eat it up like yeah?, Mandolyn ...
- EVIL'S INEVITABLE, FAST, AND FREE FALL, MOHAMMAD SKATI
- Doomed, Kyle Schlicher
- Memory Without Remorse, Kyle Schlicher
- Question Answered, Kyle Schlicher
- Spearmint Leaves, Saiom Shriver
- THIS LIFE IS UP-SIDE-DOWN هذه الحياة متك.., MOHAMMAD SKATI
- Islands of Flowers, Marilyn Lott
- Home-makers, Dr Deena Padayachee
- I APOLOGIZE FOR YOU, MOHAMMAD SKATI