Reviews

The Complete Poems 1927-1979 by Elizabeth Bishop

lsparrow's review

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2.0

probably only two poems i liked.
One Art being my favorite.
overall the poems made me think that the poet seemed like a very interesting person - she has obviously traveled and expereinced a lot but I was not as into the actual poems

casparb's review against another edition

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mmM I was getting into some fun stuff this time thru. Thinking about genealogy of conceits, donne-lizbish. I was a huge fan of her translation of the Andrade poem 'In the Middle of the Road':
https://www.wenaus.org/poetry/middle-road.html

also I really liked this early proseish? poem 'rainy season; sub-tropics', the trio of frog-crab-snail. it was pure lydia davis & I am here für it!
https://imaginaire.me/rainy-season-sub-tropics-bishop/
(I invite you to scroll past the translation

& she's unique and indispensable and lovable, it goes without saying

booksandbeers's review against another edition

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5.0

Her poems own my heart.

maenad_wordsmith's review

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Writing about some of Bishop's poetry for work, again

raloveridge's review

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5.0

I will never be done reading or thinking about Elizabeth Bishop.

shuashwa18's review

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adventurous challenging dark emotional funny informative reflective relaxing sad tense slow-paced

5.0

baedeker's review

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3.0

I don't understand why I don't like Bishop

caracabe's review

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adventurous challenging emotional reflective slow-paced

5.0

jonbrammer's review

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4.0

Possibly my favorite poem of all time, "Skunk Hour" by Robert Lowell, is dedicated to Elizabeth Bishop, so I had to check her out.

Many of these poems are impressionistic, capturing a moment - like "Late Air". Some use extended metaphor, like "The Unbeliever" - taking a line from John Bunyan about the dangers of unbelief and twisting it into something different - making it seem that the atheist is both able to dream differently than those on the deck below:

Asleep he was transported there
asleep he curled
in a gilded ball at the mast's top,
or climbed inside
a gilded bird, or blindly seated himself astride

The metaphor becomes something strange and mysterious - what is the unbeliever? A dreamer? A sage?

Bishop likes to weave natural imagery in with the emotions and ideas expressed in her poems - a classic example is "The Fish", where the defeat of the veteran fish by the fisherman is problematized by the imagery of the decrepit boat, where there is a "pool of bilge / where oil had spread a rainbow / around the rusted engine"

The fish is something noble battling against the crude ugly trappings of man.

katkake1's review

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3.0

I haven't finished it yet. So far, I like it!