ReadySteadyBlog


Elizabeth Bishop


The Mountain *7 blog has fallen for Elizabeth Bishop:


I do seem to have rather fallen for Elizabeth Bishop recently - and not just for the spare warm wisdom of her poetry. After reading a small piece about her somewhere I went looking; and in the gaps between these three anecdotes and in the poem at the end there is something quietly beautiful, worth finding.

For more Bishop, do take a look at the lovely essay, Elizabeth Bishop: Why Is She So Good?, that the poet Anne Stevenson wrote for me for ReadySteadyBook a little while ago:


Bishop herself, in an essay called Writing Poetry is an Unnatural Act (brought to light in the recently published Edgar Allan Poe and the Juke-Box) defined three qualities she most admired in the poetry she loved: accuracy, spontaneity and mystery. Quoting Coleridge, she argued that the best poetry conveys “the most fantastic thoughts in the most correct and natural language”, opposing it to “the tiresome practice of conveying the most trivial thoughts in the most fantastic language.”

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