Elizabeth Bishop

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

Sleeping On The Ceiling - Poem by Elizabeth Bishop

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It is so peaceful on the ceiling!
It is the Place de la Concorde.
The little crystal chandelier
is off, the fountain is in the dark.
Not a soul is in the park.

Below, where the wallpaper is peeling,
the Jardin des Plantes has locked its gates.
Those photographs are animals.
The mighty flowers and foliage rustle;
under the leaves the insects tunnel.

We must go under the wallpaper
to meet the insect-gladiator,
to battle with a net and trident,
and leave the fountain and the square
But oh, that we could sleep up there...


Comments about Sleeping On The Ceiling by Elizabeth Bishop

  • (4/29/2009 6:10:00 PM)


    I can enjoy and understand this poem, but I fail to understand the line 'Those photographs are animals.' The only image I take from that is the perspective generated by distance, but that doesn't do much.

    Any thoughts?
    (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: sleep, dark, flower, animal



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



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