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/lit/ - Literature

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Anonymous 06/25/14(Wed)18:51 UTC+1 No.5057346 Report

Elizabeth Bishop love thread.
Anonymous 06/25/14(Wed)19:09 UTC+1 No.5057417 Report

>implying /lit/ wants to talk about a 20th century poet
This is coming from a poet, anon. Don't be surprised if your post doesn't get much attention. Also, you should probably post one of her poems.

One Art

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.
Anonymous 06/25/14(Wed)19:15 UTC+1 No.5057437 Report

I don't always assume people in /lit/ don't read. Besides, /lit/ is full of raving formalists, if they've read, and she's the in the line, along with Lowell. Unless we're going to talk about Timothy Steele's awful iambs, or Wilbur, who's not bad, and fusty Justice.

That's best poem I've read in that form.

Here's "The Colder the Air."

We must admire her perfect aim,
this huntress of the winter air
whose level weapon needs no sight,
if it were not that everywhere
her game is sure, her shot is right.
The least of us could do the same.

The chalky birds or boats stand still,
reducing her conditions of chance;
air's gallery marks identically
the narrow gallery of her glance.
The target-center in her eye
is equally her aim and will.

Time's in her pocket, ticking loud
on one stalled second. She'll consult
not time nor circumstance. She calls
on atmosphere for her result.
(It is this clock that later falls
in wheels and chimes of leaf and cloud.)
Anonymous 06/25/14(Wed)19:51 UTC+1 No.5057609 Report

I'm on board for some love from Nautilus Island's hermit.

>dem pouty cheeks
Anonymous 06/25/14(Wed)20:25 UTC+1 No.5057725 Report

Bishop, writing to Marianne Moore in 1940:

I have been reading and rereading your letter ever since it came … And thank you for the marvelous postcard, and the very helpful comments on "the Fish." I did as you suggested about everything except "breathing in" (if you can remember that), which I decided to leave as it was. "Lousy" is now "infested" and "gunwales" (which I meant to be pronounced "gunn’ls" ) is "gunnels," which is also correct according to the dictionary, and makes it plainer. I left off the outline of capitals [for the first word of each line], too, and feel very ADVANCED.
Anonymous 06/25/14(Wed)20:28 UTC+1 No.5057733 Report

>tfw non-linecapping was advanced in 1940
Anonymous 06/25/14(Wed)20:59 UTC+1 No.5057863 Report

>tfw Marianne Moore will never take you to the circus with a giant satchel of stale bread to feed the elephants and another full of orange juice and fresh pears for you both to eat and drink on the train.
Anonymous 06/25/14(Wed)21:09 UTC+1 No.5057899 Report

>tfw Miss Moore and her mother won't debate fastidiously the merits and demerits of your poems.
Anonymous 06/25/14(Wed)21:20 UTC+1 No.5057943 Report

>tfw Robert Lowell will never give you your own immortal nickname.
Anonymous 06/25/14(Wed)21:54 UTC+1 No.5058125 Report

Have you read that article on Marianne Moore in The New Criterion? She had one fucked up childhood.
Anonymous 06/25/14(Wed)21:55 UTC+1 No.5058138 Report

I prefer Edna St. Vincent Millay
Anonymous 06/25/14(Wed)21:58 UTC+1 No.5058154 Report

Millay's good, but we're talking about Bishop here. What do you think the one presents, or excells in, that the other doesn't?
Anonymous 06/25/14(Wed)22:23 UTC+1 No.5058303 Report

The review of the newest complete collection, yes. In some ways, Bishop was her surrogate daughter. Moore always seemed to me to have the quirks and tics of an orphan, despite living with her mother til she was 60.

I am more often drawn to her work in the Dial than to the poems, strangely. The best analysis of a Moore poem I have ever seen is Kenneth Burke's appendix in Grammar of Motives about the poem about atomic clocks.
Anonymous 06/25/14(Wed)22:28 UTC+1 No.5058330 Report

There's a new complete? I thought it was about Hanging On Upside Down

I need to pick up a full Moore collection. I loved The Octopus and a lot of other poems I've run into in anthologies
Anonymous 06/25/14(Wed)22:49 UTC+1 No.5058425 Report

Well, 2003, but still. Her problem with revision remains unsolved.

I read the Hanging On review in the times. But not the book.


The Times called Bishop, with regards to her attitude toward Moore's mother, "condescending." How very Manhattan of them.
Anonymous 06/25/14(Wed)22:56 UTC+1 No.5058451 Report

It's great to see some love for Bishop. Might have to dust off my copy of Complete Poems '27-'79
Anonymous 06/25/14(Wed)23:08 UTC+1 No.5058502 Report

I have that edition. It's a nightmare trying to read Moore. I'm probably going to grab a stack of her seperate volumes, as recommended by Logan, and review the big ones in my Norton Contemporary.

I should comb through "The Octopus" again.
Anonymous 06/25/14(Wed)23:09 UTC+1 No.5058509 Report

I don't mean to say the poems are unpleasant, but it's hard to find the notes, and there's a great heap of poems. I wish there was a decent "selected."
Anonymous 06/25/14(Wed)23:31 UTC+1 No.5058588 Report

It's her great last spit in the face of convention. That whole group had this itch about keeping up. Probably something about the first generational experience with accelerating pace of change. Now we presume our won obsolescence and post on ephemeral anonymous internet boards. Not that different from what was lost at Alexandria or at the Cotton, just faster, and faster. Here's what Bishop had to say to Lowell about it.

In Memoriam: Robert Lowell

I can make out the rigging of a schooner
a mile off; I can count
the new cones on the spruce. It is so still
the pale bay wears a milky skin; the sky
no clouds except for one long, carded horse1s tail.

The islands haven't shifted since last summer,
even if I like to pretend they have--
drifting, in a dreamy sort of way,
a little north, a little south, or sidewise--
and that they1re free within the blue frontiers of bay.

This month our favorite one is full of flowers:
buttercups, red clover, purple vetch,
hackweed still burning, daisies pied, eyebright,
the fragrant bedstraw's incandescent stars,
and more, returned, to paint the meadows with delight.

The goldfinches are back, or others like them,
and the white-throated sparrow's five-note song,
pleading and pleading, brings tears to the eyes.
Nature repeats herself, or almost does:
repeat, repeat, repeat; revise, revise, revise.

Years ago, you told me it was here
(in 1932?) you first "discovered girls"
and learned to sail, and learned to kiss.
You had "such fun," you said, that classic summer.
("Fun"--it always seemed to leave you at a loss...)

You left North Haven, anchored in its rock,
afloat in mystic blue...And now--you've left
for good. You can't derange, or rearrange,
your poems again. (But the sparrows can their song.)
The words won't change again. Sad friend, you cannot change.
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