Sunday, January 06, 2008

Poet of the Month

January's Featured Poet
Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1969) was born in Worcester, MA, and grew up in New England and Nova Scotia. She lived also in Key West and Brazil. Each locale furnished vivid landscapes for her work. She taught at Harvard late in her life. She is an astute observer of the physical world, and finds in it metaphors for feeling she does not, without them, express in her poetry. “Late Air” is a good example of this:

Late Air

From a magician’s midnight sleeve
the radio-singers
distribute all their love-songs
over the dew-wet lawns.
And like a fortune-teller’s
their marrow-piercing guesses are whatever you

But on the Navy Yard aerial I find
better witnesses
for love on summer nights.
Five remote red lights
keep their nests there; Phoenixes
burning quietly, where the dew cannot climb.
Further Reading: Elizabeth Bishop, The Complete Poems, 1927-1979; available at our library.

Coming in February: Langston Hughes

Content developed by local resident and poet Leland Jamieson