Elizabeth Bishop

American poet

Elizabeth Bishop (February 8, 1911October 6, 1979) was the Poet Laureate of the United States from 1949 to 1950. She won a Pulitzer Prize in 1956.

Elizabeth Bishop in 1964


  • The ancient owls' nest must have burned.
    Hastily, all alone,
    a glistening armadillo left the scene,
    rose-flecked, head down, tail down
  • The big fish tubs are completely lined
    with layers of beautiful herring scales
    and the wheelbarrows are similarly plastered
    with creamy iridescent coats of mail,
    with small iridescent flies crawling on them.
    • Poem: At the Fishhouses
  • Why should I be my aunt,
    or me, or anyone?
    What similarities
    boots, hands, the family voice
    I felt in my throat, or even
    the National Geographic
    and those awful hanging breasts
    held us all together
    or made us all just one?
    • Poem: In the Waiting Room
  • From a magician's midnight sleeve
    the radio-singers
    distribute all their love-songs
    over the dew-wet lawns.
    • Poem: Late Air

Poems, North and South (1946)Edit

  • The armored cars of dreams contrived to let us do
    so many a dangerous thing.
    • Poem: Sleeping standing up
  • Topography displays no favorites; North's as near as West.
    More delicate than the historians' are the map-makers' colors.
    • Poem: The Map

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