22 September 2006

Elizabeth Bishop via Alice Quinn

I resisted Alice Quinn's new book of previously unpublished Bishop, frowned and shoved it up on the shelf next to the rest of the Bishop, refused to take it down, until yesterday when I opened it and found it actually contains more Bishop. (Imagine having more Bishop!( (If you love Bishop as I do.) Much facsimile. Poetry and prose.

This from the appendix:

Writing poetry is an unnatural act. It takes great skill to make it seem natural. Most of the poet’s energies are really directed towards this goal: to convince himself (perhaps, with luck, eventually some readers) that what he’s up to and what he’s saying is really an inevitable, only natural way of behaving under the circumstances.


  1. tavox10:25

    Wow, excellent site!!


  2. Kathryn17:46

    Yes, indeed. Imagine having more Bishop. I was re-reading parts of Rukeyser's The Life of Poetry today. She says, "If there were no poetry on any day in the world, poetry would be invented that day." Surely Bishop was an inventor of poetry. And each day another inventor appears to perform that unnatural act, the inevitable. Language lives on and on and on . . .