Elizabeth Bishop

Worcester, Massachusetts
Elizabeth Bishop
Worcester, Massachusetts
Explore Poems GO!

Sestina

Rating: 3.9
September rain falls on the house.
In the failing light, the old grandmother
sits in the kitchen with the child
beside the Little Marvel Stove,
reading the jokes from the almanac,
laughing and talking to hide her tears.

She thinks that her equinoctial tears
and the rain that beats on the roof of the house
were both foretold by the almanac,
but only known to a grandmother.
The iron kettle sings on the stove.
She cuts some bread and says to the child,

It's time for tea now; but the child
is watching the teakettle's small hard tears
dance like mad on the hot black stove,
the way the rain must dance on the house.
Tidying up, the old grandmother
hangs up the clever almanac

on its string. Birdlike, the almanac
hovers half open above the child,
hovers above the old grandmother
and her teacup full of dark brown tears.
She shivers and says she thinks the house
feels chilly, and puts more wood in the stove.

It was to be, says the Marvel Stove.
I know what I know, says the almanac.
With crayons the child draws a rigid house
and a winding pathway. Then the child
puts in a man with buttons like tears
and shows it proudly to the grandmother.

But secretly, while the grandmother
busies herself about the stove,
the little moons fall down like tears
from between the pages of the almanac
into the flower bed the child
has carefully placed in the front of the house.

Time to plant tears, says the almanac.
The grandmother sings to the marvelous stove
and the child draws another inscrutable house.
READ THIS POEM IN OTHER LANGUAGES
COMMENTS
Dr Antony Theodore 29 November 2020
Time to plant tears, says the almanac. The grandmother sings to the marvelous stove and the child draws another inscrutable house. very fine poem. tony
0 0 Reply
yumyum 18 November 2020
This is good I just cant do this i am just going to use this as something to learn from and right my own with
2 0 Reply
Some rando nerd 04 April 2019
Yo That’s weird (I had to enter 20 characters so I’m just doin this lol)
4 0 Reply
Bill Grace 25 November 2018
I return to this poem again and again and love it and do not know why.
5 1 Reply
Harold 06 April 2018
I'm really into this poem. You can only respect Bishop's ability to manipulate words.
5 2 Reply
manweed42069 06 April 2018
love reading this poem while im smoking a fat blunt....a big sexy
10 3 Reply
writer poet 12 February 2018
Bishop is overrated. this page tells me to write at least 20 words. as if that is the minimum for thought.
7 15 Reply
blake 05 February 2018
love itttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt
9 5 Reply
nicky 05 December 2017
toe tanggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg
13 6 Reply
J.b. Lebuert 28 February 2012
If people only understood the challenges and difficulty of writing a sestina poem then the rating for this great poem would be higher. It is one of the ost difficult structured poems that I have ever attempted.
68 28 Reply

Delivering Poems Around The World

Poems are the property of their respective owners. All information has been reproduced here for educational and informational purposes to benefit site visitors, and is provided at no charge...

4/12/2021 11:43:04 AM # 1.0.0.559