Five Flights Up Poem by Elizabeth Bishop

Five Flights Up

Rating: 3.7


Still dark.
The unknown bird sits on his usual branch.
The little dog next door barks in his sleep
inquiringly, just once.
Perhaps in his sleep, too, the bird inquires
once or twice, quavering.
Questions---if that is what they are---
answered directly, simply,
by day itself.

Enormous morning, ponderous, meticulous;
gray light streaking each bare branch,
each single twig, along one side,
making another tree, of glassy veins...
The bird still sits there. Now he seems to yawn.

The little black dog runs in his yard.
His owner's voice arises, stern,
"You ought to be ashamed!"
What has he done?
He bounces cheerfully up and down;
he rushes in circles in the fallen leaves.

Obviously, he has no sense of shame.
He and the bird know everything is answered,
all taken care of,
no need to ask again.
---Yesterday brought to today so lightly!
(A yesterday I find almost impossible to lift.)

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Amanda Gagnon 06 December 2005

i like this poem! it is very good!

6 4 Reply
Edward Kofi Louis 26 January 2019

He has no sense of shame! ! Some people are like that! Thanks for sharing this poem with us.

1 0 Reply
Adrian Flett 26 January 2019

The weight of yesterday difficult to lift and cope with, not like the dog who has no sense of shame..

1 0 Reply
Dr Antony Theodore 26 January 2019

A fine poem from a great poetess. tony

1 0 Reply
Mahtab Bangalee 26 January 2019

answer was there but under the dark layer days come and go -no need to discover- warning for the unknown savior! all answer were there but under dark fear we can't discover……! ./// great poem

1 0 Reply
jennifer 09 April 2022

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0 0 Reply
Chinedu Dike 08 April 2022

An interesting poem written with clarity of thought and mind. Thanks for sharing this beautiful poem of yours....

0 0 Reply
jennifer 08 April 2022

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0 0 Reply
Ratnakar Mandlik 26 January 2019

Marvelous observation of movements of little dog and the bird with equally marvelous interpretation of their actions have made this poem superb nature poem.

0 0 Reply
Practicing Poetess 26 January 2019

A lovely poem from the pen of Elizabeth Bishop

1 0 Reply
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Elizabeth Bishop

Elizabeth Bishop

Worcester, Massachusetts
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