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Geography III: Poems (FSG Classics) Paperback – March 18, 2008
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“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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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Most cultures have a type of religion that they feel nourishes them spiritually and the Igbo people are no exception. Read morePublished on May 21, 2013 by gelica215
"Geography III" was Elizabeth Bishop's final volume of poetry, and it was published only a few years before her death. Read morePublished on February 13, 2007 by E. A Solinas