Treasure Island

Elizabeth Bishop

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

Large Bad Picture


Remembering the Strait of Belle Isle or
some northerly harbor of Labrador,
before he became a schoolteacher
a great-uncle painted a big picture.

Receding for miles on either side
into a flushed, still sky
are overhanging pale blue cliffs
hundreds of feet high,

their bases fretted by little arches,
the entrances to caves
running in along the level of a bay
masked by perfect waves.

On the middle of that quiet floor
sits a fleet of small black ships,
square-rigged, sails furled, motionless,
their spars like burnt match-sticks.

And high above them, over the tall cliffs'
semi-translucent ranks,
are scribbled hundreds of fine black birds
hanging in n's in banks.

One can hear their crying, crying,
the only sound there is
except for occasional sizhine
as a large aquatic animal breathes.

In the pink light
the small red sun goes rolling, rolling,
round and round and round at the same height
in perpetual sunset, comprehensive, consoling,

while the ships consider it.
Apparently they have reached their destination.
It would be hard to say what brought them there,
commerce or contemplation.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

Do you like this poem?
1 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read poems about / on: animal, pink, sunset, running, red, sky, sun, light, remember

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Large Bad Picture by Elizabeth Bishop )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

New Poems

  1. Somewhere in time, Mark Heathcote
  2. The wind brings warning, xeno drone
  3. My nature is to write, gajanan mishra
  4. Two Rings, Shannon Paterson
  5. Dreams Incarnate, Dylan Engelbrecht
  6. The Rose, Neela Nath
  7. No one to question, hasmukh amathalal
  8. She does, hasmukh amathalal
  9. Multi-dimensional; heavens?, Mark Heathcote
  10. Watch, ramesh rai

Poem of the Day

poet Geoffrey Chaucer

The firste stock-father of gentleness,
What man desireth gentle for to be,
Must follow his trace, and all his wittes dress,
Virtue to love, and vices for to flee;
...... Read complete »

   

Trending Poems

  1. 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
  2. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  3. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  4. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  5. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  6. Nothing Gold Can Stay, Robert Frost
  7. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  8. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
  10. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]