Elizabeth Bishop

1911–1979
Elizabeth Bishop

Elizabeth Bishop is a poet’s poet, much admired for the powerful emotions that pulse beneath her lines’ perfected surface and the unerring accuracy of her eye (she was also a painter.) Like her mentor Marianne Moore, Bishop moved from idiosyncratic observations of nature and its denizens—a “tremendous fish,” a “glistening armadillo”—to quiet, wise, and sad conclusions about humans’ place and prospects. Marked from the start by displacement—her father died soon after her birth, and her mother was institutionalized for mental derangement— Bishop traveled restlessly as an adult, writing often about voyages and of Brazil where she settled for a time.

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