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Advisory Board:

-Sandra BatTY " Halifax, Nova Scotia


<slbarry@ns.sympatico.ca>
-Neil Besner, U. of Winnipeg
<besner@winnipeg.ca>
-Gary Fountain. Secretary-Treasurer, Ithaca College
<gfountai@ithaca.edu>
-Barbara Page, Vassar College
<page@vassar.edu>
-Camille Roman, Washington State University
<roman@wusvmlcsc.wsu.edu>
-Thomas Travisano, President, Hartwick College
<travlsanotOhartwick.edu
-J ucqucline Vaught Brogan, Notre DameU.
<J acqueline,V.Brogan.2@nd.edu>
The Elizabeth Bishop Bulletin, edited by Barbara Page,
is a semi-annual publication of the Elizabeth Bishop Society.
.-Barbara Page, Editor
November saw theUK's first all-Bishopconference,
impeccably organized by Newcastle's LindaAndersonandJ o
Shapcott. J onathan Ellis, of Hull University, reports on its
highlights in this issue.
Bishopscholarsandfriends arestill glowingfromthe
splendid conference and poetry celebration, "J arrell, Bishop,
Lowell &Co.," in Cleveland this April, sponsored by Case
Western Reserve, with sessions at Cleveland State and the
Cleveland Museum of Art. Particular thanks are owed to
CWR'sSuzanneFerguson, whoorganizedtheconference,with
theableassistanceof Amy McAlpine. Look for areport in the
next issueof theBulletin.
At theannual convention of theAmericanLiterature
Association, 25-28May, inLongBeach, lookfor twopanelson
Bishop, bothorganizedandchairedbyGary Fountain. Partici-
pants include: Cheryl Walker, Neil Besner, Brett Millier,
Susan McCabe, Peter Nickowitz and Bill Benton.
Editor's Notes
Bishop Studies in Newcastle, Cleveland
and Long Beach
On December 28,2000, at 4:30 p.m., the Library of
Congress and the Elizabeth Bishop Society will sponsor a
programat theLibrary to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of
Elizabeth Bishop's tenure as Poetry Consultant and theSOOth
anniversaryof thefoundingof modernBrazil. Featuredspeakers
will beDana Gioia andCarmen Oliveira.
DanaGioia, who studied withBishop at Harvard, isa
poet, critic, anthologist, editor, translator, andwriter andeditor
of textbooks. He is uniquely qualified to speak broadly about
Bishopfrom theclassroomtothecanon,Hewill offerreflec~i?ns
on Bishop's relation to contemporaries and on her critical
reception. . .-
CarmenOliveirahaspublishedinBrazil abiographical
studythatpresentsadramatic pictureof howBrazilian culturein
the1950sand1960sshapedanddistortedthelivesof Bishopand
her lover Lata de Macedo Soares. Carmen recreates Lota's
character asfully andrichly asBishop's. This book iscurrently
being translated into English by Neil Besner, of Winnip~g
University, for publication in the United States. Carmen WIll
speak on Bishop and Brazilian culture. .
DanaandCarmen arebothdynamic speakerswhoWill
drawan audiencebroadly interestedin modern andcontempo-
rary poetry andculture.
MLA2000
Library of Congress
and Elizabeth Bishop Society
Sponsor Celebration
by Gary Fountain, Ithaca College
':Allthe untidy activity continues .., II Winter 2000
Volume 8, Number 2
TheElizabeth Bishop Bulletin
2
Citations
1.EarlyWork: 1927-1936
"Ballad of the Subway Train," The Owl (1926-1927), North
ShoreCountryDay School, p. 65, (TTl, 65), published.
"Dead," The Blue Pencil (March 1928), Walnut Hill School,
(TTI, 11),published.
"Ladies and gents, ladies and gents," Vassar College, early
1930s(LSl, 89; recitedbyMaryMcf'arthy on Voices and
Visions programon Bishop; also reproduced inFountain
andBrazeau's Remembering Elizabeth Bishop), completed
version.
"Poem of 1935" ("The past"), 1935 (BCM, 78; TT4, 96),
completedversion.
order,givingthetitiewhenthereisone, andotherwisecitingthe
first lineinlower case. Someof Bishop's uncollectedpoems
canbedatedwithprecision, butother datesareapproximations
basedoninternal evidence, suchas references to domestic or
current events. Several estimates arebased on thetypewriter
Bishopwasthenusing(seeVH225-6fordiscussionofBishop's
succession of typewriters). Ingeneral, I havefollowed when
possiblethedatingsuggestedbythescholar inwhoseessayor
bookagivenpoemiscited.Thelistingcloseswithafewpoems
whosedatingI havenot yet beenabletodetermine.
Giveninparenthesesfollowingthepoemanddateare
theinitialsof theauthoror editor whoarrangedfor thepoem's
publicationorcitation. Whentheauthororeditor hasproduced
more than one text, I havenumbered theminchronological
order of publication (thusLorrieGoldensohn's twotexts, the
firstanessayandthesecondabook, arecitedasLG1andLG2).
I haveplacedthepoemsinoneof four categories: "published,"
"completed version," "extensivedraft," or "fragmentary." The
previouslypublishedpoemsarealljuvenilia. "Completedver-
sio~s" arepoems that Bishop appears tohavefinished toher
ownsatisfaction, but that shechosenot topublish. Several of
thesecompletedversionsrefer topersonal occasionsandwere
.giftstothefriendorloverwhoinspiredthem."Extendeddrafts"
arepoemsthatseemtobemovingtowardtheir final shapebut
thatBishopleftuncompleted.Perhaps, inthesecases,shecould
never quitepinpoint what Lowell termed "the unimaginable
phrase." "Fragmentary" poemsexist generally asassemblages
of suggestiveor promisinglines, not yetdistinctly shapedinto
the outlines of a poem. Of course, "extensive drafts" vary
widelyintheirdegreeoffinish, andsome"fragmentary" poems
are a good deal more fragmentary than others, so the line
betweenthesetwocategories isnot alwayseasy todraw.
I havenot attempted to document all passingrefer-
ences to Bishop's unpublished or uncollected poems, merely
thosereprintedaswholesorinsubstantial part.Wherethesame
quotation appears in agiven scholar's published essay and
book, I havecited only the book. Let me apologizefor any
publications inadvertently omitted fromthis listing. I would
appreciate hearing of these at -ctravisanottshartwick.edu.
Thesewill be citedinafutureissueof theBulletin.
(Special thanks are due to LloydSchwartz and to
MariaLuciaMilleo-MartinsandReginaPrzybycienforhelpin
trackingdownsomeelusivepublications.)
WhenRobertLowell visitedhislongtimefriendEliza-
beth Bishop at her studio perched high on a cliffside at
Samambaia, the estate of her companion Lata de Macedo
Soares, hewasstruck by theextent andpromiseof themany
poemsshehadinprogress.Helaterevokedinafamouspoetic
tributethosemanywordsthat"hang... inair, tenyears/ unfin-
ished, gluedtoyournoticeboard, withgaps/ oremptiesforthe
unimaginable phrase." In a 12 August 1963 letter, Lowell
confessed that "Still I brood about all thoserich unfinished
fragments, suchafortuneinthebank.... Youmustn't waverin
knowinghowmuchyouhave."
Bishopscholarshaveshownasimilarfascinationwith
the unpublished and uncollected work of the poet Lowell
addressedashis"unerringMusewhomakesthecasual perfect."
This scholarly interest stems partly fromthe sheer literary
. qualityof theseuncollectedpoemsandfragments-for Bishop
reveals uniqueflashesof brillianceinevenher mostfragmen-
tary creation. Another lure are the revealing insights these
poems offer intoaspectsof Bishop asawriter andpersonthat
are only hintedat intheestablished canon: her wide-ranging
friendships, her amatory imagination, her literary andartistic
engagements, andher involvement withpolitics, particularly
Brazilianpolitics.Moreover, thesepoemsoffermanyimagina-
tive glimpses intootherwise undocumented travels, observa-
tions, dreams, andchildhoodmemories. Itissurelyironicthat
Bishop, duringherlifetimechieflycelebratedasaminormaster
of poetic"finish," shouldposthumouslyemergeasamajorpoet
whosecomplex oeuvreremains-in several senses-actively
unfinished.
Bishop's publisher, Farrar, Straus&Giroux,hascom-
missioned anewvolumeof her uncollectedpoetry, edited by
Alice Quinn andtentatively titled "Edgar AllanPoe andthe
J ukebox," after one of Bishop's intriguing unpublishedfrag-
ments. Asweawait thepublicationof thiswork-in-progress, it
seemstimelytodocument prior publicationsof thisintriguing.
secondarycanon. Unfinished.poemsbyBishophaveappeared
asseparatepublicationsinanumberofjournals, includingThe
New Yorker, American Poetry Review; Gettysburg Review,
Georgia Review, Western Humanities Review and Conjunc-
tions. But astill greater number, including many unfinished
poems and fragments of great interest, haveso far appeared
solely as citations embedded in memoirs, biographies, and
critical booksandarticlesonBishop. Todojusticetotherange
of thediscussion, andto'makethestudy of thesepoemsmore
accessible, I havestriventodocument thesemanyembedded
publications as well. A total of forty-eight printed items are
citedbelow, butscholarsfamiliar withtheextensivecollection
of Bishop's unfinished poems in the Vassal' archive, from
whichmostof thesepublicationsderive, will recognizethatthe
listingbelowby nomeansexhausts thecatalogueof Bishop's
most compellingandsignificant unfinishedpoems.
I havearrangedthepoems inroughly chronological
Bishop's Uncollected Poems:
A Bibliography
by Thomas Travisano, Hartwick College
Willter 2000 Volume 8, Number 2
The Elizabeth Bishop Btdletin
3
BC. BonnieCostello. Elizabeth Bishop: Questions of Mastery.
Cambridge: HarvardUP, 1991.
LG!. LorrieGoldensohn. "ElizabethBishop: AnUnpublished,
UntitledPoem." American PoetryReview (J an.IFeb. 1988):
35-36.
LG2. . Elizabeth Bishop: The Biography of a
Poetry. NewYork:.Colurnbia UP, 1992.
VH. VictoriaHarrison. Elizabeth Bishop's Poetics of Intimacy.
NewYork: Cambridgeup, 1992.
DK. DavidKalstone. Becoming a Poet: Elizabeth Bishop with
Marianne Moore and Robert Lowell. New York: Farrar,
Straus&Giroux, 1989.
MML. MarilynMayLombardi. The Body and the Song:
Sources . .... .. .. '. '.
Publications, Scholarly Sources&Editor's Introductions.
With theexceptionof NYr, initialedreferences arealphabet-
izedbyfinal letter, whichcorrespondsto surname.
5. DateUncertain
"A mother madeof dressgoods," (BCM 12-13),fragmentary.
"First Syllables," date? (BCM30), fragmentary.
"Bloody Boulevards," (BC, 142), fragmentary.
"A lovelyfinish... ," (NYrl, 47; AQ, 324), completedversion.
4. Boston, etc.: 1969-1979
"Swan-Boat Ride," Boston, 1970s, CBS, 66-67; VR 135-37),
fragmentary.
"Belated Dedication," Boston, mid-1970s, (LG2, 240), frag-
mentary.
"For Grandfather," Boston, mid-1970s, (VR, 138), extensive
draft.
"Flodda Revisited," Boston, mid-1970s, (BCM, 523), exten-
sivedraft.
''Breakfast Song," Boston, late1970s,(LS2), partial citationof
completedversion.
"Apartment inLeme," Boston, late 1970s, [beguninBrazil"],
(partial citationinBCM 344), extensivedraft.
"SalemWillows," Boston, late 1970s, (IT3, 609-10; partial
citationinBCM, 29), extensivedraft.
"VaguePoem(VaguelyLovePoem),"] KeyWest, late 1970s,
(LG2,71-2; VH,204-5;BCM,437-38;MML, 73-74;NYr2,
215), extensivedraft.
"AubadeandElegy" [forLatadeMacedoSoares], Boston, late
1970s, (VH, 206-8, BCM, 427-8), fragmentary.
''THIS IS NOT A BILL," Boston, late 1970s, (BCM 531),
fragmentary.
(LS, 90), completedversion.
"Dear, my compass I still points north," Ouro Preto, mid-
1960s, (LS, 86; cited infull inBCM, 368-69), completed
version.
"Inventory," Petropolis, 1967(BMC, 385-86), fragmentary.
"Far far away there, whereI met," SanFrancisco, late 1960s,
(BMC, 411-12), fragmentary.
"In thedark night," SanFrancisco, late 1960s, (BMC, 412),
fragmentary.
3. Brazil. etc.: 1951-1968
"Welivedinapocketof Time,"Petropolis, early 1950s,(BCM
16-17,19).
"Suicide of a Moderate Dictator," Rio, 1954, (TT ; partial
citation inLG2, 237), nearlycompletedversion.
"A Baby Foundill theGlubage," Rio, mid-1950s, (VH, 165-
66), fragmentary.
"A Tripto theMines-Brazil," ["Theslaves, theslaveshave
disappeared], Brazil, mid-1950s, (VH, 165-6), fragmen-
tary.
"Poem: For M.B.S. buried inNova Scotia," [elegyfor Aunt
Maud] Brazil, mid-1950s, (VH, 123-4; BCM, 158), frag-
mentary.
"The Grandmothers," Brazil, mid-1950s, (YR, 125-6), frag-
mentary.
"St. J ohn's Day," Petropolis, mid-1950s, (LG2, 188-90),frag-
mentary.
"Foreign-Domestic," Petropolis, mid-1950s? (NYrl, 47; AQ,
324), completedversion.
Untitled: double sonnet on Hopkins and Dickinson, Brazil,
1956-60,(VH, 34-37),fragmentary. .:
"ToManuel Bandeira, WithaPresent," Brazil, mid-1950s,(FS,
106),completeddraft.
"Keaton," Brazil, after 1957,(BC, 52-3), extensivedraft.
"Brazil, 1959," ["Theradio says black beans areupagain"],
Brazil, 1959, (LG2, 188,BCM, 300-301), fragmentary.
"A Drunkard," Brazil, begunI960; earliest extant draft 1972,
(TT3, 608; partial citationinDK, 210-211; BCM5), exten-
sivedraft,
"OntheAmazon," Brazil, c. 1960,(BCM, 308-309),fragmen-
tary.
"Let Shakespeare&MiltonI StayataHilton," OuroPreto, 30
May 1960,(LS, 88), completed version.
"A Letter to Two Friends" [Robert Lowell and Marianne
Moore], Brazil, c. 1961, (BCM 314), extensivedraft.
"(For thewindowpane)," ["DearLilli, I likedthisview,"] Ouro
Preto, 1965,(LS, 88), completed version.
"Closecloseall night/the loverskeep," OuroPreto, late1960s,
2. Key West, NewYork. Washington. etc.: 1937-1950
"Itismarvelloustowakeuptogether," KeyWest, early 1940s,
(LGl), completed version.
"IhadabaddreamI towards morningabout you," KeyWest,
early 1940s,(LG2, 70), fragmentary.
"TheWaterfall," KeyWest, 1940s,(MML,99),extensivedraft.
"FloridaDeserta," KeyWest, 1940s?(NYr2, 215), completed
version?
"TheStreet bytheCemetery," KeyWest, 1940s?(NYr2,215),
completedversion?
"Edgar AllanPoe&theJ ukebox," Key West, 1940s, (MML,
121-23), extensivedraft.
"Ark of theCovenant," late 1940s, (LG2, 170),fragmentary.
"Verdigris," Washington, spring1950,(BCM,224), extensive
draft.
"In aRoom," datedSeville, 1936(AQ, 325), completedver-
sion.
Winter 2000
Volume 8, Number 2 The Elizabeth Bishop Bulletin
4
"Visits to St. Elizabeths," trans. Alfredo Rizzardi, inPound
Symposium,Nuova Corrente, 3, 5-6gennaio-giugno, 1956,
pp.28-34.
"FirstDeathinNovaScotia,"trans.TommasoPisanti, inPoesia
delNovecentoAmericano,Napoli,Guida, 1978,pp. 198-99.
"TheArmadillo," trans. RosellaMamoli Zorzi, inDa Frost a
Lowell, acuradi SergioPerosa, Milano, Accademia, 1979,
pp.283-89.
"NorthHaven," trans. Laura Coltelli, inRassegna Lucchese,
estate1980, p. 9.
"Elizabeth Bishop: Nellasalad'aspetto ealtrepoesie," trans.
Gabriella Morisco, in Almanacco della Specchio, n. 9,
Milano, Mondadori, 1980,pp.83-121(includestrans.ofuIn
theWaitingRoom," "Crusoe inEngland," "TheMoose,"
"Poem," "OneArt," "TheEndof March").
ElizabethBishop,L 'arte-di perdere, trans. ecuradi Margherita
Guidacci, Milano, Rusconi, 1982(includes trans. of "The
Map," "The Imaginary Iceberg," "The Colder the Air,"
"WadingatWellfleet,""TheMan-Moth," "LoveLiesSleep-
ing," "The Weed," "The Unbeliever," "TheMonument"
"Quai d'Orleans," "Sleeping Standing Up," "Roosters:"
"Little Exercise," "The Fish," "Late Air," "Cootchie,"
"Anaphora," "A ColdSpring," "The Bight," "A Summer
Dream," "At the Fishhouses," "Cape Breton," "Varick
Street," "Invitation to MissMarianneMoore," "Arrival at
Santos,""Questionsof Travel,""Squatter'sChildren,""Song
for theRainy Season," "TheArmadillo," "TwelfthMorn-
ing; OrWhat YouWill," "Sestina," "First Death inNova
Scotia,""FromTrollope'sJ ournal,""VisitstoSt.Elizabeths,"
"SomeDreams They Forgot," "Under theWindow: Ouro
Prete," "IntheWaitingRoom," "CrusoeinEngland," "The
Moose," "Poem," "One Art." Notes to the poems and
bibliography, pp. 229-34).
"ElizabethBishop: Nonacasapropria," trans. ecommentodi
Bianca Tarozzi a "Crusoe in England," in II Pomerio,
ReggioEmilia, Elitropia, 1983,pp. 396-409e833-38.
"ElizabethBishop: Figurazioneanimale" trans.ecommentodi
BiancaTarozzi a"Roosters" e"Sandpiper," inIn forma di
parole, VII, 1, 1987,pp. 87-120.
"Elizabeth Bishop: 'Manuelzinho," trans. e commento di
BiancaTarozzi, inLinea d' ombra, 34,gennaio1989,pp.49-
51.
"Elizabeth Bishop da The Complete Poems 1927-1979."
Traduzioneeintroduzionedi FrancescoRognoni, inL' anna
di poesia 1988/1989, acuradi Roberto Mussapi, Milano,
J aca Book, 1989, pp. 15-41 (includes trans. of "Song,"
"PleasureSeas," "Santarern," "NorthHaven," "PinkDog,"
"Sonnet"). .
"ElizabethBishop: 'TheU. S. A. School of Writing," trans. e
Translations
Elizabeth Bishop:
An Italian Bibliography
by Francesco Rognoni, University of Udine, Italy
DonaldAnderson, Editor
WLA, Department of English
USAF Academy, CO80840
donald.anderson@usafa.af.mil
The editors of War, Literature, and the Arts arepleased to
announcepublicationof aspecial issuedevotedtoBishopand
hercontemporaries,entitled"TheMiddleGenerationof Ameri-
canPoetry: WarsinthePrivateandPublicRealms." Contribu-
tors include: Steven Gould Axelrod, Thomas Travisano
Camille Roman, Lorrie Goldensohn, George Monteiro:
Sanra Bar~~, and Gary Fountain. Copies of the Spring!
Summer edition(Volume11,Number 1)maybeorderedfor$5
from:
Special Issue
War, Literature, and the Arts
Elizabeth Bishop's Poetics. Carbondale: SouthernIllinoisUP
1995. '
BCM. BrettC. Millier.Elizabeth Bishop: Life and the Memory
of It. Berkeley: U of CaliforniaP, 1993.
NYr1. "Easel byElizabeth Bishop," New Yorker (19Auzust
1996): 46-47. o
NYr2."Far Inland,"New Yorker (21&28February2000):215.
AQ. AliceQuinn "ThreePoems byElizabeth Bishop," Con-
junctions (1998,BardCollege:Bi-Annual Volumesof New
Writing): 323-326.
LS1.Ll~y?Schwartz. "Annalsof Poetry: ElizabethBishopand
Brazil, New Yorker (30September 1991): 85-97.
LS2. . "Elizabeth Bishop, 'Sonnet," Atlantic Un-
bound (29March2000). Online:
http://www.theatlantic.com!unbo und/poetry/soundings!
bishop.htm.
ES. ElizabethSpires. "ElizabethBishop: 'TheThingsI'dLike
to Write,'" Gettysburg Review, (Winter 1992):62-70.
FS. FloraSussekind, "A GeleiaeoEngenho: emtornodeuma
carta-poema de Elizabeth Bishop a Manuel Bandeira."
Papeis Coladas [essaycollection]. RiodeJ aneiro: Editora
UFRJ ,1993.
TTL Thomas Travisano. "Heavenly Dragons: A Newly Dis-
coveredPoembyElizabethBishop," Western Humanities
Review (Spring1991): 28-33.
TT2. . "Emerging Genius: ElizabethBishop and
The Blue Pencil, 1927-1930," Gettysburg Review (Winter
1992): 32-47.
TT3. . '''With anEyeof FlemishAccuracy': An
Afterword," Georgia Review (Winter 1992): 612-616.
TT4. .Midcentury Quartet: Bishop, Lowell, Jarrell,
Berryman and the Making of a Postmodern Aesthetic
(Charlottesville: UP of Virginia, 1999).
Winter 2000
Volume 8, Number 2
The Elizabeth Bishop Bulletin
5
Anne Stevenson already has an important place for
scholars of Elizabeth Bishop asthe young critic who wrote the
first book on Bishop's work in 1966 and, perhaps even more
significantly, managed toelicit fromBishop inaseries of letters
thekind of reflections on her own practice andbeliefs as apoet
that she was, for the most part, reluctant to commit to paper.
Bishop's famous comments about "glimpses of the always-
more-successfulsurrealism of everyday life" and "Darwin's
endless heroic observations" find their way into Stevenson's
new book, therefore, having first been addressed to her more
than thirty years before. Since her encounter with Bishop
Stevenson has gone on tomake her own name, first of all asan
important poet in her own right, and more recently as the
biographer of Sylvia Plath. Itis clear that Stevenson finds
Bishop's a far more sympathetic and compatible spirit than
Plath's to deal with and quotes at length Bishop's "passionate"
opposition to thesensationalism of theconfessional movement.
Bishop's humbler impulse to "look" at the world, however
difficult andcomplex that looking turned out tobe, isfar easier
for Stevenson toapprove, as isBishop's passing upof abstrac-
tion and theory for more local observations: "Why muddy deep
waters with useless discussion? Why not just look" (p.110).
Within itsmodest format Stevenson's own"five looks"
infact turn out toformasustained reflection onBishop's career,
from its very early stages tothe publication of Geography 1lIin
1976. The approach, though nicely attuned to nuances of
language and meaning, is for the most part biographical, or
rather it fits Bishop's poetic career to the places and relation-
ships she moved in to and out of during the course of amuch
traveled life. This works well intheearly stages, andStevenson
has much to say that is relatively little known, drawing on her
own previous correspondence with Elizabeth Bishop and oth-
ers, or commenting on unpublished manuscripts, likethe notes
for astory about Great Village, written probably in 1936, which
puts aboy, Lucius Brisay, at their center but which are clearly
also autobiographical. One of the problems posed by Bishop,
of course, is that there is a huge and inexplicable time lag
between the event or pJ ace which acts as a trigger and the
completed poem, almost as if she were always living simulta-
neously in two different times, or in two different places.
Stevenson, though constrained by her linear approach, is nev-
ertheless alert to this creative dynamic in Bishop's work and
writes, for instance, about how timeitself, inthesense of amore
primitive recall, gets written into the Moose's appearance, in
the poem which notoriously had a more delayed completion
than most of Bishop's long gestated poems. Stevenson's chap-
Anne Stevenson, Five Looks at Elizabeth Bishop, Agenda!
Bellew, London 1998, I72pp.
Review
Anne Stevenson's Second Book
on Bishop
by Linda Anderson, University of Newcastle
upon Tyne, UK
Fusini, Nadia, Nomi. Dieci scritture al femminile, Roma,
Donzelli, 1996 ("Elizabeth, 0lareticenza" pp. 193-212).
Guidacci, Margherita, "Introduzione" to Elizabeth Bishop,
L'arte di perdere, trans. e cura di Margherita Guidacci,
Milano, Rusconi, 1982, pp. 5-16.
Morisco, Gabriella, La reticenza e 10 sguardo. Soggettivita,
visione epercorso creativo nella poesta di Elizabetk Bishop,
Bologna, Patron, 1990. .
Rognoni, Francesco, "Elizabeth Bishop lettrice di Darwin," in
II bianco e il nero (Udine), n. 3, 1999, pp. 295-310.
Tarozzi, Bianca, "Intermittenze: sogno, trance e visione nella
poesia di Elizabeth Bishop," inElizabeth Bishop, Dai libri
di geografia, acura di Bianca Tarozzi, Caltanisetta-Roma,
Salvatore Sciascia Editore, 1993, pp. 185-229.
Books and Essays
commento di Bianca Tarozzi, inLinea d'ombra, 53, ottobre
"Elizabeth Bishop: Diario dellaVertigine," trans. ecommento
di Bianca Tarozzi a"Trip toVigia," "Over 2000 Illustrations
andaComplete Concordance" e"Filling Station," inLeggere,
IV. 34. settembre 1991, pp. 20-31.
Elizabeth Bishop, Dai libri di geografia, a cura di Bianca
Tarozzi, Caltanisetta-Roma, Salvatore Sciascia Editore, 1993
(includes trans. of "The Map," "Chemin de Fer," "Large
Bad Picture," "J erenirno's House," "Roosters," "Little Ex-
ercise," "Anaphora," "Over 2000 Illustrations and aCom-
pleteConcordance," "At theFishhouses," "Insomnia," "The
Prodigal," "Faustina, or Rock Roses," "Letter to N. Y.,"
"Brazil, J anuary 1, 1502," "Questions of Travel,"
"Manuelzinho," "The Armadillo," "The Riverman," "Man-
ners," "Sestina," "Filling Station," "Sandpiper," "Visits to
St. Elizabeths," "House Guest," "Going to the Bakery,"
"Under theWindow: Ouro Prete," "In theWaiting Room,"
"Crusoe in England," "The End of Marth;" "Pink Dog."
Notes to the poems, pp. 233-40).
"Elizabeth Bishop: Il mare elasuacosta," trans. of "The Sea &
its Shore," by Damiano D. Abeni, with an introduction, in
Linea d'ombra, n. 121, gennaio 1997, pp. 74-78.
Winter 2000 Yolume 8, Number 2
The Elizabeth Bishop Bulletin
6
respect withwhichall spokeof Bishop's influence.
Thehighpoint of theweekendcameduringapoetry
readingattheendofthefirstday. Thereadingtookplaceinthe
midst of theuniversity'S art gallery which hadjust begun an
exhibition of paintings inspired by Shakespeare's plays. The
comingtogether of imagesandwordswouldhaveappealedto
Bishop, particularlyif shehadbeenabletohideintheaudience
as I did. I remember all the sounds of "In the Village"-the
"clang" ofNate's anvil, theringofMeaJ y's bell,the"SIp"of the
GreatVillageriver-e-andhowtheseweresuggestedbythepitch
andsoundof thepoetryreadingitself,inspiredbyifnotdirectly
for Bishop herself: the bleak comedy and warmth of Sean
O'Brien. thedelicatephrasingandecstatic intimacyof Deryu
Rees-J ones, thedirectnessanddramaof Michael Donaghy, the
gradual lessons and discoveries of AnneStevenson. Bishop
onceremarkedthatpoetryreadingswerealittlelikeSt.Thomas
Aquinas,"theargumentsweremarvellous" butshejustcouldn't
"swallowthedoctrine." Shewouldhavebelievedalittlemore
inthemafter thisone.
Thediscussions before andafter thepoetry reading
keptall thoseparticipating"onthehop."BarbaraPage' sopen-
ingtalk appropriately focusedonBishop's "stopsandstarts,"
showinghowher skepticismabout visionandvoicemanifests
itself intheslippery"quick-sandof herwork."AnneStevenson
alsodrewattentiontoBishop's loose-endedness inher explo-
rationof thehypnoticconclusionto"At theFishhouses." Peter
Robinson's discussionof "TheShampoo" lookedatthesubtle-
tiesof thepoem's flickeringmovementsandquestions, seeing
it as afigurative gift offering between speaker and listener.
Michael Donaghy's choiceof the samepoemto discuss the
creation of "a present moment" necessary to all poetry, re-
mindedmeof thecoincidenceof "twolooks" in"Poem" and
howoftenBishopdrawsdifferingperspectivestogether.
Oneof themost breathtaking andsuggestivepapers
wasthatgivenbyDerynRees-J onestowardstheendof thelast
day. ShequestionedBishop's usefulnessasamodel forfemale
poets viaadescription of her own dreamlife whilst tryingto
write the talk. Deryn sawBishop as apoet "full of advice,"
cherishing and at the same time resisting the influence of
Bishop's distinctivevoice.Hersbiftinglyricresponsetopoems
like"IntheWaitingRoom" and"TheMoose" hadthecareand
graceof oneof Bishop's ownpoemsandwill, whenpublished,
beessential reading.
Bishop may not have felt particularly at home in
England, but herpoemsandstoriesseemtohavefoundanecho
here, aselsewhere. The"proto-dreamhouse" from"TheEndof
March" isperhapsanyplacethatgivesspaceandtimeforpoets
andreaderstodo"nothingmuch, forever." Or atleastnothing
morethanreadalittleBishop, drinkingcachaca, grog, or teaat
thesametime. Newcastlegaveusthischancetotalkanddrink
together, two of Bishop's favoriteoccupations. Thanks from
everyonetothewarmthof welcomethere, particularlytoLinda
AndersonandJ oShapcott whoorganized theconferenceto-
gether. Itis hoped that acollection of essays based on the
conference will be published by Bloodaxe press in J anuary
2001.
Elizabeth Bishop visitedEngland on four occasions
duringher lifetime. Sheseemedto like"theideaof theplace"
morethantheplaceitself."BeinginEnglandisratherlikegoing
tothemoviesafteryou'vereadthebook," sheoncecomplained.
They live"exactlylikeBeatrixPotter," are"notascleanaswe
are," anddrink far toomuchteawithbiscuits. Bishop's fasci-
nationwithEnglandwasclearlynot thatof atourist.Shecame
heretovisitfriendslike1lseBarker andtomakepilgrimagesto
Darwin's house in Kent. Thinking over these biographical
connections, I alsorecall Bishop's descriptionof theprototypi-
cal Englishman, RobinsonCrusoe, particularlyhispreoccupa-
tionwiththeweather andteaandthecurious wayturtleshiss
"like teakettles" inthepoem, reminding himof home.
Many of these thoughts occurred to meas the first
conferencetobeheldonBishopassoleauthorinEnglandbegan
in Newcastle last November. Bishop famously avoided aca-
demic forums and symposiums, but she would I think have
enjoyed this coming together of admirers, friendsandpoets.
Perhapsoneof themostsurprisingaspectsofBisbop's reputa-
tionintheBritishIslesistheextent to whichpoetsratherthan
academics havetakenupthecauseof celebratingher writing.
Sheseems,asJ oShapcottsuggested, to"inhabit" several poets'
work, speakingthrougheachof theminadifferent voice. Paul
Durkin, EavanBoland, SeamusHeaneyandTomPaulin. have
all recently celebrated Bishop's writing. Ifshe isAmerica's
"writer's writer,"sheisalsoour"poet's poet,"moresothanTed
HughesorevenPhilipLarkin.Thiswasclearattheconference,
notjust inthenumberof poetspresent but intheaffectionand
Report fromtheField
Bishop in England
by Jonathan Ellis, Hull University, UK
tel'entitled"TheGeographical Mirror" isthemostexploratory
in the book; in it she aptly summarizes Bishop's difficult
imaginativeterritorydrawingattentiontothecreativerisks-
thehorizonsanddistances-which werealsopartof heratten-
tion to the local and particular: "Bishop ... approachedthe
unknown likeatantalizing, perpetually elusivecreativeterri-
tory; imaginatively, shewantedto livenowhereelse" (p.l00).
DoesAnneStevensonhavemoretosayaboutBishop?For
my part I hopeso sinceI would liketo readamorepersonal
accountofhowStevenson-who hasherself writtensomovingly
about loss-has negotiatedher relationshipwithapoet whom
shewasdrawntosoearlyoninhercareer andhasnowreturned
to withsuchsensitivity andrigor.
Winter 2000
Volume 8, Number 2 The Elizabeth Bishop Bulletin