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Geography III: Poems (FSG Classics) Paperback – March 18, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

Review

The extraordinary thing about Miss Bishop is that she is both a public and a private poet, or perhaps her poetry by its very existence renders obsolete these two after all artificial distinctions (artificial insofar as poetry is concerned). The private self--the quirkiness, the rightness of vision, the special sights and events (a moose, a filling station) that have intrigued Miss Bishop to the point of poetry--melts imperceptibly into the larger utterance, the grandeur of poetry, which, because it remains rooted in everyday particulars, never sounds 'grand,' but is as quietly convincing as everyday speech. (John Ashbery)

Through masterful fusions of metaphor, Bishop creates a new world and resolves and dissolves its differences in the dazzling dialectic of her vision. (Jane Shore, Ploughshares)

About the Author

Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979) was born in Worcester, Massachusetts. She traveled widely as an adult, living for years in France and then Brazil, before returning to the United States.

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Product Details

  • Series: FSG Classics
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; First Printing edition (March 18, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374530653
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374530655
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,722 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
GEOGRAPHY III was the last collection that American poet Elizabeth Bishop published during her lifetime. Farrar, Straus and Giroux still publishes this individually, but Bishop's total output was fairly small and you might be better off getting GEOGRAPHY III as part of a "complete works". I, for example, encountered it in the Library of America volume of poems, prose, and letters.

When these poems were written (GEOGRAPHY III was published in 1977), Bishop was already in her sixties. The first poem, however, shows her looking back to her childhood during World War I, for "In the Waiting Room" recalls an epiphany she felt as a little girl while reading a National Geographic and waiting for her aunt to finish a dentist appointment in 1918. In a later poem, Bishop writes of looking at a landscape painting, a family heirloom painted by a local artist, and realizing that it depicts a place she knew as a child.

Besides these reminisces, there are plenty of examples of Bishop as "the famous eye", a poet more interested in dispassionate depiction of the little things in life around her than revealing too much of herself. In "Five Flights Up" she riddles the behavior of a dog and a bird outside her home just before daybreak. "Night City" depicts an urban landscape as scene from a plane with rich imagery. Interestingly enough, except for a translation of an Octavio Paz poem included with her own work, Bishop does not engage with Latin America in this collection like before. In spite of her long residence in Brazil in the previous decade, she seems to have put all that behind her.
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By Ron Berube on August 26, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's a basic modernist text. Classic poems. If you're seriously interested in those, you should have this. The copy I rec'd was in pristine condition.
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By Wenli Yang on October 26, 2014
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Excellent
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