Monday, February 1, 2010

Elizabeth Bishop

I must bring in some of the drafts of "One Art"--she wrote at least fifteen, and the poem didn't start as a villanelle.  It's an excellent look into how this poet works and the incredible restraint and formal consideration she balanced.

And "MAN-MOTH"!  I am so, so happy Christie assigned this one--perhaps my favorite of all Bishop's work.  Thoreau's remark that "most men lead lives of quiet desperation" is put into the most deliciously bizarre image here.  Comic book culture and surrealism combine here to get at what feels like a most basic human truth here, and for me at least, it comes home as if Bishop wrote this in lightening and we're all flying into its heat.

I swear, I've been this moth before, and I swear, I'll be him again.  The cracks of the building are filled with moonlight.

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