Elizabeth Bishop
The Fish by Elizabeth Bishop

The Fish by Elizabeth Bishop

I caught a tremendous fish and held him beside the boat half out of water, with my hook fast in a corner of his mouth. He didn't fight. He hadn't fought at all. He hung a ...

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North Haven by Elizabeth Bishop

North Haven by Elizabeth Bishop

In Memoriam: Robert Lowell I can make out the rigging of a schoonera mile off; I can countthe new cones on the spruce. It is so stillthe pale bay wears a milky skin; the skyno ...

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Little Exercise by Elizabeth Bishop

Little Exercise by Elizabeth Bishop

For Thomas Edwards Wanning Think of the storm roaming the sky uneasilylike a dog looking for a place to sleep in,listen to it growling. Think how ...

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Sestina by Elizabeth Bishop

Sestina by Elizabeth Bishop

September rain falls on the house.In the failing light, the old grandmothersits in the kitchen with the childbeside the Little Marvel Stove,reading the jokes from the ...

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Insomnia by Elizabeth Bishop

Insomnia by Elizabeth Bishop

The moon in the bureau mirrorlooks out a million miles(and perhaps with pride, at herself,but she never, never smiles)far and away beyond sleep, orperhaps she's a daytime ...

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Anaphora by Elizabeth Bishop

Anaphora by Elizabeth Bishop

Each day with so much ceremonybegins, with birds, with bells,with whistles from a factory; such white-gold skies our eyesfirst open on, such brilliant wallsthat for a moment we ...

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A Prodigal by Elizabeth Bishop

A Prodigal by Elizabeth Bishop

The brown enormous odor he lived bywas too close, with its breathing and thick hair,for him to judge. The floor was rotten; the stywas plastered halfway up with glass-smooth ...

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I Am In Need Of Music by Elizabeth Bishop

I Am In Need Of Music by Elizabeth Bishop

I am in need of music that would flowOver my fretful, feeling fingertips,Over my bitter-tainted, trembling lips,With melody, deep, clear, and liquid-slow.Oh, for the healing ...

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At The Fishhouses by Elizabeth Bishop

At The Fishhouses by Elizabeth Bishop

Although it is a cold evening,down by one of the fishhousesan old man sits netting,his net, in the gloaming almost invisible,a dark purple-brown,and his shuttle worn and ...

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Conversation by Elizabeth Bishop

Conversation by Elizabeth Bishop

The tumult in the heart keeps asking questions. And then it stops and undertakes to answer in the same tone of voice. No one could tell the difference. Uninnocent, these ...

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A Miracle For Breakfast by Elizabeth Bishop

A Miracle For Breakfast by Elizabeth Bishop

At six o'clock we were waiting for coffee, waiting for coffee and the charitable crumb that was going to be served from a certain balcony --like kings of old, or like a miracle. ...

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Exchanging Hats by Elizabeth Bishop

Exchanging Hats by Elizabeth Bishop

Unfunny uncles who insistin trying on a lady's hat,--oh, even if the joke falls flat,we share your slight transvestite twistin spite of our embarrassment.Costume and custom are ...

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First Death In Nova Scotia by Elizabeth Bishop

First Death In Nova Scotia by Elizabeth Bishop

In the cold, cold parlormy mother laid out Arthurbeneath the chromographs:Edward, Prince of Wales,with Princess Alexandra,and King George with Queen Mary.Below them on the ...

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Filling Station by Elizabeth Bishop

Filling Station by Elizabeth Bishop

Oh, but it is dirty!--this little filling station,oil-soaked, oil-permeatedto a disturbing, over-allblack translucency.Be careful with that match!Father wears a dirty,oil-soaked ...

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A Summer’s Dream by Elizabeth Bishop

A Summer’s Dream by Elizabeth Bishop

To the sagging wharffew ships could come.The population numberedtwo giants, an idiot, a dwarf,a gentle storekeeperasleep behind his counter,and our kind landlady—the dwarf was her ...

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Questions Of Travel by Elizabeth Bishop

Questions Of Travel by Elizabeth Bishop

There are too many waterfalls here; the crowded streams hurry too rapidly down to the sea, and the pressure of so many clouds on the mountaintops makes them spill over the sides ...

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The Moose by Elizabeth Bishop

The Moose by Elizabeth Bishop

For Grace Bulmer BowersFrom narrow provincesof fish and bread and tea,home of the long tideswhere the bay leaves the seatwice a day and takesthe herrings long rides,where if the ...

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Cirque D’Hiver by Elizabeth Bishop

Cirque D’Hiver by Elizabeth Bishop

Across the floor flits the mechanical toy,fit for a king of several centuries back.A little circus horse with real white hair.His eyes are glossy black.He bears a little dancer on ...

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Arrival At Santos by Elizabeth Bishop

Arrival At Santos by Elizabeth Bishop

Here is a coast; here is a harbor; here, after a meager diet of horizon, is some scenery: impractically shaped and--who knows?--self-pitying mountains, sad and harsh beneath their ...

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Chemin De Fer by Elizabeth Bishop

Chemin De Fer by Elizabeth Bishop

Alone on the railroad track I walked with pounding heart.The ties were too close together or maybe too far apart.The scenery was impoverished: scrub-pine and oak; beyondits ...

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The Colder The Air by Elizabeth Bishop

The Colder The Air by Elizabeth Bishop

We must admire her perfect aim, this huntress of the winter air whose level weapon needs no sight, if it were not that everywhere her game is sure, her shot is right. The least of ...

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Florida by Elizabeth Bishop

Florida by Elizabeth Bishop

The state with the prettiest name,the state that floats in brackish water,held together by mangrave rootsthat bear while living oysters in clusters, and when dead strew white ...

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Giant Toad by Elizabeth Bishop

Giant Toad by Elizabeth Bishop

I am too big. Too big by far. Pity me. My eyes bulge and hurt. They are my one great beauty, even so. They see too much, above, below. And yet, there is not much to see. The ...

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In The Waiting Room by Elizabeth Bishop

In The Waiting Room by Elizabeth Bishop

In Worcester, Massachusetts,I went with Aunt Consueloto keep her dentist's appointmentand sat and waited for herin the dentist's waiting room.It was winter. It got darkearly. The ...

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Invitation To Miss Marianne Moore by Elizabeth Bishop

Invitation To Miss Marianne Moore by Elizabeth Bishop

From Brooklyn, over the Brooklyn Bridge, on this fine morning, please come flying.In a cloud of fiery pale chemicals, please come flying,to the rapid rolling of thousands ...

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Letter To N.Y. by Elizabeth Bishop

Letter To N.Y. by Elizabeth Bishop

For Louise CraneIn your next letter I wish you'd saywhere you are going and what you are doing;how are the plays and after the playswhat other pleasures you're pursuing:taking ...

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Cape Breton by Elizabeth Bishop

Cape Breton by Elizabeth Bishop

Out on the high "bird islands," Ciboux and Hertford, the razorbill auks and the silly-looking puffins all stand with their backs to the mainland in solemn, uneven lines along the ...

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Argument by Elizabeth Bishop

Argument by Elizabeth Bishop

Days that cannot bring you nearor will not,Distance trying to appearsomething more obstinate,argue argue argue with meendlesslyneither proving you less wanted nor less ...

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Rain Towards Morning by Elizabeth Bishop

Rain Towards Morning by Elizabeth Bishop

The great light cage has broken up in the air, freeing, I think, about a million birds whose wild ascending shadows will not be back, and all the wires come falling down. No cage, ...

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Poem by Elizabeth Bishop

Poem by Elizabeth Bishop

About the size of an old-style dollar bill,American or Canadian,mostly the same whites, gray greens, and steel grays-this little painting (a sketch for a larger one?)has never ...

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Casabianca by Elizabeth Bishop

Casabianca by Elizabeth Bishop

Love's the boy stood on the burning decktrying to recite `The boy stood onthe burning deck.' Love's the sonstood stammering elocutionwhile the poor ship in flames went down.Love's ...

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O Breath by Elizabeth Bishop

O Breath by Elizabeth Bishop

Beneath that loved and celebrated breast,silent, bored really blindly veined,grieves, maybe lives and letslive, passes bets,something moving but invisibly,and with what ...

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Sandpiper by Elizabeth Bishop

Sandpiper by Elizabeth Bishop

The roaring alongside he takes for granted,and that every so often the world is bound to shake.He runs, he runs to the south, finical, awkward,in a state of controlled panic, a ...

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Five Flights Up by Elizabeth Bishop

Five Flights Up by Elizabeth Bishop

Still dark.The unknown bird sits on his usual branch.The little dog next door barks in his sleepinquiringly, just once.Perhaps in his sleep, too, the bird inquiresonce or twice, ...

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Love Lies Sleeping by Elizabeth Bishop

Love Lies Sleeping by Elizabeth Bishop

Earliest morning, switching all the tracksthat cross the sky from cinder star to star, coupling the ends of streets to trains of light.now draw us into daylight in ...

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The Bight by Elizabeth Bishop

The Bight by Elizabeth Bishop

At low tide like this how sheer the water is.White, crumbling ribs of marl protrude and glareand the boats are dry, the pilings dry as matches.Absorbing, rather than being ...

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Trouvee by Elizabeth Bishop

Trouvee by Elizabeth Bishop

Oh, why should a henhave been run overon West 4th Streetin the middle of summer?She was a white hen--red-and-white now, of course.How did she get there?Where was she going?Her ...

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The Map by Elizabeth Bishop

The Map by Elizabeth Bishop

Land lies in water; it is shadowed green.Shadows, or are they shallows, at its edgesshowing the line of long sea-weeded ledgeswhere weeds hang to the simple blue from green.Or ...

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Sleeping On The Ceiling by Elizabeth Bishop

Sleeping On The Ceiling by Elizabeth Bishop

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

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Manners by Elizabeth Bishop

Manners by Elizabeth Bishop

For a Child of 1918My grandfather said to meas we sat on the wagon seat,"Be sure to remember to alwaysspeak to everyone you meet."We met a stranger on foot.My grandfather's whip ...

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The Man-Moth by Elizabeth Bishop

The Man-Moth by Elizabeth Bishop

& nbsp; Here, above,cracks in the buldings are filled with battered moonlight.The whole shadow of Man is only as big as his hat.It lies at his feet like a circle for a ...

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The Shampoo by Elizabeth Bishop

The Shampoo by Elizabeth Bishop

The still explosions on the rocks,the lichens, growby spreading, gray, concentric shocks.They have arrangedto meet the rings around the moon, althoughwithin our memories they have ...

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While Someone Telephones by Elizabeth Bishop

While Someone Telephones by Elizabeth Bishop

Wasted, wasted minutes that couldn't be worse, minutes of a barbaric condescension. --Stare out the bathroom window at the fir-trees, at their dark needles, accretions to no ...

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One Art by Elizabeth Bishop

One Art by Elizabeth Bishop

The art of losing isn't hard to master; so many things seem filled with the intentto be lost that their loss is no disaster,Lose something every day. Accept the flusterof lost ...

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To Be Written On The Mirror In Whitewash by Elizabeth Bishop

To Be Written On The Mirror In Whitewash by Elizabeth Bishop

I live only here, between your eyes and you, But I live in your world. What do I do? --Collect no interest--otherwise what I can; Above all I am not that staring man.

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The Monument by Elizabeth Bishop

The Monument by Elizabeth Bishop

Now can you see the monument? It is of woodbuilt somewhat like a box. No. Builtlike several boxes in descending sizesone above the other.Each is turned half-way round so thatits ...

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The Armadillo by Elizabeth Bishop

The Armadillo by Elizabeth Bishop

For Robert LowellThis is the time of yearwhen almost every nightthe frail, illegal fire balloons appear.Climbing the mountain height,rising toward a saintstill honored in these ...

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Roosters by Elizabeth Bishop

Roosters by Elizabeth Bishop

At four o'clockin the gun-metal blue darkwe hear the first crow of the first cockjust belowthe gun-metal blue windowand immediately there is an echooff in the distance,then one ...

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Lines Written In The Fannie Farmer Cookbook by Elizabeth Bishop

Lines Written In The Fannie Farmer Cookbook by Elizabeth Bishop

You won't become a gourmet* cook By studying our Fannie's book-- Her thoughts on Food & Keeping House Are scarcely those of Levi-Strauss. Nevertheless, you'll find, Frank dear, ...

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The End Of March by Elizabeth Bishop

The End Of March by Elizabeth Bishop

For John Malcolm Brinnin and Bill Read: Duxbury It was cold and windy, scarcely the day to take a walk on that long beach Everything was withdrawn ...

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