01 June 2005

traveling with Elizabeth Bishop

Here in Truro for the month of June, my first companion is Elizabeth Bishop -- her poems, prose, and letters, three biographies, and various essay collections. I began with Brett C. Millier's biography, Elizabeth Bishop: Life and the Memory of It. Here is a poem from Bishop's second collection:

Insomnia

The moon in the bureau mirror
looks out a million miles
(and perhaps with pride, at herself,
but she never, never smiles)
far and away beyond sleep, or
perhaps she’s a daytime sleeper.

By the Universe deserted,
she’d tell it to go to hell,
and she’d find a body of water,
or a mirror, on which to dwell.
So wrap up care in a cobweb
and drop it down the well

into that world inverted
where left is always right,
where the shadows are really the body,
where we stay awake all night,
where the heavens are shallow as the sea
is now deep, and you love me.

I particularly like the shadows are really the body.



5 comments:

  1. nothing to do with Bishop but Truro? live near Truro Cornwall.

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  2. I had no idea Truro existed in Cornwall, and someone else told me about a Truro in eastern Canada. I'm in the Massachusetts Truro, the next to the outermost town on Cape Cod. Just back from a long rather chilly walk along the beach.

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  3. Hi Carol,

    Enjoy yourself! I'm looking forward to seeing you here soon.

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  4. I'm up and running again! But not like you thru the sands of Truro.

    Looking forward to your Bishop poems. :-)

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