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        Elizabeth Bishop








        Poet, Novelist

        date of birth

        February 08, 1911

        place of birth

        Worcester, Massachusetts

        date of death

        October 06, 1979

        place of death

        Boston, Massachusetts

        place of burial

        Hope Cemetery in Worcester, Massachusetts

        Rip's Impressions

        Close to Robert Lowell and Marianne Moore, both to whom she dedicated poems. She lived part of her life in Brazil which injected a new flavor, a broader spectrum of color in her work. She taught at the University level on and off until her death. Wrote one of the best modern Sestinas in the English language.

        literary tidbits


        September rain falls on the house.
        In the failing light, the old grandmother
        sits in the kitchen with the child
        beside the Little Marvel Stove,
        reading the jokes from the almanac,
        laughing and talking to hide her tears.

        She thinks that her equinoctial tears
        and the rain that beats on the roof of the house
        were both foretold by the almanac,
        but only known to a grandmother.
        The iron kettle sings on the stove.
        She cuts some bread and says to the child,

        It's time for tea now; but the child
        is watching the teakettle's small hard tears
        dance like mad on the hot black stove,
        the way the rain must dance on the house.
        Tidying up, the old grandmother
        hangs up the clever almanac

        on its string. Birdlike, the almanac
        hovers half open above the child,
        hovers above the old grandmother
        and her teacup full of dark brown tears.
        She shivers and says she thinks the house
        feels chilly, and puts more wood in the stove.

        It was to be, says the Marvel Stove.
        I know what I know, says the almanac.
        With crayons the child draws a rigid house
        and a winding pathway. Then the child
        puts in a man with buttons like tears
        and shows it proudly to the grandmother.

        But secretly, while the grandmother
        busies herself about the stove,
        the little moons fall down like tears
        from between the pages of the almanac
        into the flower bed the child
        has carefully placed in the front of the house.

        Time to plant tears, says the almanac.
        The grandmother sings to the marvelous stove
        and the child draws another inscrutable house.


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