Elizabeth Bishop at Work

Elizabeth Bishop at Work

Book - 2016
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Elizabeth Bishop is now recognized as a major twentieth-century poet. She is routinely praised for her mastery of her art, yet all too often the art itself is ignored. Terms like 'quiet perfection' abound but are seldom demonstrated very far. This book looks in detail at how she works. It is meant for both readers and writers, as well as teachers, at every level, from beginning writers to more advanced, from ordinary readers of poetry to specialists. Prose writers and readers should also find useful guidelines. In showing exactly how Bishop's poems work, it suggests how our own writing and reading might learn from her. She has been compared to Vermeer, and as with his paintings, so with her poems. They can create small worlds where every detail matters. Elizabeth Bishop at Work starts with two case studies from her earliest writing, then proceeds chronologically. It shows how she shapes each collection, putting paid to any idea that her collections are random miscellanies. Alternate chapters and chapter sections focus on practical topics, starting with diction ('Elizabeth Bishop's Ordinary Diction - yes, but'), and including rhythm, syntax, genre, tone, allusion, and more. Details previously unnoticed are analyzed, such as the terza rima snaking down one poem, and what it is doing. Many poems are read in detail and their small worlds reconstructed. These details and these worlds are a necessary part of Bishop's wide point of view. They light up her life as an artist as well as her life as a whole.--
Publisher: Cambridge, Massachusetts : Harvard University Press, 2016
ISBN: 9780674660175
Branch Call Number: 811.54 Bishop
Characteristics: x, 308 pages ; 22 cm


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