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Elizabeth Bishop

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Rhonda Le

on 9 January 2014

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Transcript of Elizabeth Bishop

Biography
Elizabeth Bishop was born in 1911 in Worcester, Massachusetts. At the age of 8 months, her father died. In 1916, her mother and was committed to a mental asylum, as she was sent to live with her grandparents in Nova Scotia. Later in childhood, her paternal family took custody of her and Bishop moved in with her father's wealtheir family in Worchester.
She was influenced by the poet Marianne Moore, who was a close friend, mentor, and stabilizing force in her life. Bishop was also influenced her good friend Robert Lowell. As Lowell wrote in the "confessional" style, Bishop's poetry avoids explicit accounts of her personal life, and focuses instead with great subtlety on her impressions of the physical world. For instance, like Berryman, Bishop struggled with alcoholism and depression throughout her adult life; but Bishop never wrote about this struggle, whereas Berryman made his alcoholism and depression a focal point in his dream song poems.
Bishop's style marked by precise descriptions of the physical world and an air of poetic serenity, but the underlying tone of those themes include the struggle to find a sense of belonging, and the human experiences of grief and longing.

Not only is she a poet, she is also a writer.
Elizabeth Bishop
Poem Analysis
Poem Title: Argument Author: Elizabeth Bihop

1. What images do you see while reading this poem?
Human personifications of Days and Distance pulling the narrator away from someone or something.
2. What examples of figurative language are included in the poem?
Personification -
Distance trying to appear
something more obstinate,
argue argue argue with me
3. What sound devices are included in the poem?
I see none.
4. How does the poem make you feel? What tone or mood is evoked, and what words lead you to this emotion?
Curious, wondering. 'all the way to where my reasons end?'
5. What group of lines stand out to you? Why?
Days and Distance disarrayed again
and gone
Just because I can't get a clear image or understandning makes them stand out
6. In your own words, what do you thnk this poem is saying and why?
She has not been near her loved one for a long time. As days pass the distance seperating them keeps getting bigger and bigger, seeming to argue with her. But, she believes that her and her loved one will win the argument.
7. How does the title contribute to the poem?
Its an argument between days and distance versus the narrator and her loved one.
8. Why do you think the poet wrote this poem? Who do you think the poet's audience is and why?
Since Bishop doesn't like to include her personal life in her poems, it coud have been infuenced by her status at the moment, and something to porve to her that she will see her lover once again.
I dunno, hight schoolers and up?
Photos
Poem Analysis
Poem Title: The End of March Author: Elizabeth Bishop

1. What images do you see while reading this poem?
I see a cloudy sky, an ocean; unsettled, mist, geese, people, a beach, and a run-down shack.
2. What examples of figurative language are included in the poem?
Metaphor - a sort of artichoke of a house, but greener
Personification - They could have been teasing the lion sun
3. What sound devices are included in the poem?
I see none.
4. How does the poem make you feel? What tone or mood is evoked, and what words lead you to this emotion?
It doesn't really affect my emotion...
5. What group of lines stand out to you?
'The sky was darker than the water
—it was the color of mutton-fat jade. '
It stands out because it makes me think of a storm...something that ay be refreshng yet dangerous, depending wbere you are located at the moment.
6. In your own words, what do you think this poem is saying and why?
I think this is telling a story of people stranded in a storm, a bad one. One where the author wants to leave her home just to escape, but the wnd was too strong. It destroyed many things, but as the narrator began to leave, the storm left, as like a joke.
7. How does the title contribute to the poem?
I feel like the title is having you think about the onth after March, April. The said month that brings rain and storms.
8. Why do you think the poet wrote this poem? Who do you think the poet's audience is and why?
To tell a smal story that was lightly based around her life fishing.
Bibliography
"The End Of March by Elizabeth Bishop." The End Of March, a Poem by Elizabeth Bishop. Poets Love Poem at Allpoetry. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Dec. 2013.

"Elizabeth Bishop." : The Poetry Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Dec. 2013.

"Elizabeth Bishop (8 February 1911 – 6 October 1979 / Worcester, Massachusetts)." Biography of Elizabeth Bishop. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Dec. 2013.
The End of March

It was cold and windy, scarcely the day
to take a walk on that long beach
Everything was withdrawn as far as possible,
indrawn: the tide far out, the ocean shrunken,
seabirds in ones or twos.
The rackety, icy, offshore wind
numbed our faces on one side;
disrupted the formation
of a lone flight of Canada geese;
and blew back the low, inaudible rollers
in upright, steely mist.

The sky was darker than the water
—it was the color of mutton-fat jade.
Along the wet sand, in rubber boots, we followed
a track of big dog-prints (so big
they were more like lion-prints). Then we came on
lengths and lengths, endless, of wet white string,
looping up to the tide-line, down to the water,
over and over. Finally, they did end:
a thick white snarl, man-size, awash,
rising on every wave, a sodden ghost,
falling back, sodden, giving up the ghost…
A kite string?—But no kite.

I wanted to get as far as my proto-dream-house,
my crypto-dream-house, that crooked box
set up on pilings, shingled green,
a sort of artichoke of a house, but greener
(boiled with bicarbonate of soda?),
protected from spring tides by a palisade
of—are they railroad ties?
(Many things about this place are dubious.)
I'd like to retire there and do nothing,
or nothing much, forever, in two bare rooms:
look through binoculars, read boring books,
old, long, long books, and write down useless notes,
talk to myself, and, foggy days,
watch the droplets slipping, heavy with light.
At night, a grog a l'américaine.
I'd blaze it with a kitchen match
and lovely diaphanous blue flame
would waver, doubled in the window.
There must be a stove; there is a chimney,
askew, but braced with wires,
and electricity, possibly
—at least, at the back another wire
limply leashes the whole affair
to something off behind the dunes.
A light to read by—perfect! But—impossible.
And that day the wind was much too cold
even to get that far,
and of course the house was boarded up.

On the way back our faces froze on the other side.
The sun came out for just a minute.
For just a minute, set in their bezels of sand,
the drab, damp, scattered stones
were multi-colored,
and all those high enough threw out long shadows,
individual shadows, then pulled them in again.
They could have been teasing the lion sun,
except that now he was behind them
—a sun who'd walked the beach the last low tide,
making those big, majestic paw-prints,
who perhaps had batted a kite out of the sky to play with.
Argument
Days that cannot bring you near
or will not,
Distance trying to appear
something more obstinate,
argue argue argue with me
endlessly
neither proving you less wanted nor less dear.

Distance: Remember all that land
beneath the plane;
that coastline
of dim beaches deep in sand
stretching indistinguishably
all the way,
all the way to where my reasons end?

Days: And think
of all those cluttered instruments,
one to a fact,
canceling each other's experience;
how they were
like some hideous calendar
"Compliments of Never & Forever, Inc."

The intimidating sound
of these voices
we must separately find
can and shall be vanquished:
Days and Distance disarrayed again
and gone...
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