Elizabeth Bishop

Worcester, Massachusetts
Elizabeth Bishop
Worcester, Massachusetts
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Anaphora

Rating: 2.8
Each day with so much ceremony
begins, with birds, with bells,
with whistles from a factory;
such white-gold skies our eyes
first open on, such brilliant walls
that for a moment we wonder
'Where is the music coming from, the energy?
The day was meant for what ineffable creature
we must have missed? ' Oh promptly he
appears and takes his earthly nature
   instantly, instantly falls
   victim of long intrigue,
   assuming memory and mortal
   mortal fatigue.

More slowly falling into sight
and showering into stippled faces,
darkening, condensing all his light;
in spite of all the dreaming
squandered upon him with that look,
suffers our uses and abuses,
sinks through the drift of bodies,
sinks through the drift of classes
to evening to the beggar in the park
who, weary, without lamp or book
   prepares stupendous studies:
   the fiery event
   of every day in endless
   endless assent.
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COMMENTS
Susan Williams 18 December 2015
Extraordinary poem. She has not locked herself into one way of writing or one over-riding theme. Her voice even varies to fit the soul of each poem. I am now a fan
21 1 Reply
Michael Morgan 19 October 2014
traces ethereal life-journey from its beginning in limitless potential to its hard-scrapple comeuppance in reality, at day's end.. A rich and characteristically whimsical comment on the human condition. Equals Milton's translation of the Horace ode. Not so hard to memorize, either- always a good prognostic in a poem. Superb, and (maybe) under-appreciated.
4 4 Reply
Michael Morgan 24 September 2013
One of the greatest poems in the English language! . Avowedly non-political and imaginative. MM
2 1 Reply
John Hardesty 02 July 2013
I'm quite sure that poem wasn't Pulitzer material, though, rolls of boredom! I pass on this one! !
1 7 Reply
Evon Christian 25 May 2007
Anaphora, the name of this title is so rich and beautiful that I am certain few understand. An anaphora is a poetical device, if you will-a repetition of words, that creates a sentimentality towards those words. In this poem the anaphors are 'mortal' and 'endless', so please, reread this poem and pay special attention to those two words. Elizabeth Bishop was a beautiful genius, and this poem is a true example to that.
9 6 Reply

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