Elizabeth bishop mine


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Elizabeth bishop mine

  1. 1. Elizabeth Bishop 1911-1979 Life & Works
  2. 2. In Praise Of the Great Poet  “a writer, a person and a cultural icon”  “writer’s writer’s writer” John Ashbery  “one of the most important American poets” New York Times  "Bishop's poetics is one distinguished by tranquil observation, craft-like accuracy, care for the small things of the world, a miniaturist's discretion and attention. Unlike the pert and wooly poetry that came to dominate American literature by the second half of her life, her poems are balanced like Alexander Calder mobiles, turning so subtly as to seem almost still at first, every element, every weight of meaning and song, poised flawlessly against the next.” Ernie Hilbert  “A strong sense of the poet as (an) observer”  “An eye so acute that at a first reading little appears to be to imaged about the subject"  “A quality of childlike wonder”
  3. 3. Short Biography  Born February 8, 1911 in Worchester, Massachusetts  Mother was mentally ill, died- Elizabeth raised by grandparents  Attended Walnut Hill School then Vassar College  Lived in several places  Massachusetts  Key West, Florida  Santos, Brazil  Seattle, Washington  Maine  Was a lesbian- but didn’t influence her poetry  Died October 6, 1979 in Worchester
  4. 4. Detailed Biography  Death of father when she was 8 months old.  1916 mother institutionalized –short story “In The Village”  1934 Death of mother  Lived with Grandparents—great Village, Nova Scotia. Refers to the period in her writings.  Moves with paternal family in Worcester, Massachusetts— developed chronic asthma.  Time in Worchester chronicled in “The Waiting room”.  Sent to live with mother’s sister in Revereand later Cliftondale, Massachusetts  . Introduced by aunt to the works of Victorian poets, including Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Thomas Carlyle, Robert Browning, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  5. 5. •Limited formal schooling before the age of 14 due to bad health. •Walnut high School •Vassar College class of 1934 •Underground magazine Con Spirito, with Mary McCarthy, at Vassar. •1934 meets Marianne Moore and work published in Vassar undergraduate magazine. •Moore recommended Bishop for Houghtin Mifflin Prize. •Moore published a handful of her poems in an anthology called Trial Balances in 1935 •After being rejected by several New York publishers North and South published in August 1946
  6. 6. North and South: introduces the themes central to Bishop's poetry: geography and landscape, human connection with the natural world, questions of knowledge and perception, and the ability or inability of form to control chaos. Robert Lowell like Moore, showed Bishop possibilities--practically, in the form of grants, fellowships, and awards, and artistically. In 1950 Lowell helped Bishop secure the post of poetry consultant for the Library of Congress while she worked on her second book
  7. 7.  1950, won the Lucy Martin Donnelly Fellowship and an award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.  1951 she traveled to South America but…  ate a cashew fruit to which she had a violent allergic reaction  fell in love, both with Lota de Macedo Soares, and with the landscape and culture of Brazil.  For fifteen years Bishop lived with Soares  She wrote to Lowell that she was "extremely happy for the first time in my life" (28 July 1953).  relationship with Lota de Macedo Soares gave her life stability and love, and she established residences in Rio de Janeiro.  1954 publish her second book, A Cold Spring.  1956 Pulitzer Prize  Donald Hall called Bishop "one of the best poets alive."
  8. 8.  Bishop spent the next three years translating a popular Brazilian work, the diary of "Helena Morely”—calledMinha Vida de Menina.  The story of Helena's life in the small town of Diamantina in 1893 reminded Bishop of her 1916 Great Village, and translating this work while reflecting on and writing about her own childhood helped Bishop explore her past as artistic material.  The translation was published under the title The Diary of Helena Morely by Farrar, Straus, and Cudahy in 1957.
  9. 9. A Cold Spring, her second volume of poetry, appeared in 1955. Brazil became the setting for many of the poems that were collected a decade later in Questions of Travel (1965). After the suicide of Lota de Macedo Soares, Bishop increasingly began to live in the United States, and became poet-in-residence at Harvard University in 1969. A close friendship with Alice Methfessel began in 1971 and continued until the time of Bishop's death in 1979. Her final poetry volume, Geography III, was published in 1976, Bishop often spent many years writing a single poem, working toward an effect of offhandedness and spontaneity. Committed to a "passion for accuracy," she re-created her worlds of Canada, America, Europe, and Brazil. Shunning self-pity, the poems thinly conceal her estrangements as a woman, a lesbian, an orphan, a geographically rootless traveler, a frequently hospitalized asthmatic, and a sufferer of depression and alcoholism. "I'm not interested in big-scale work as such," she once told Lowell. "Something needn't be large to be good."
  10. 10.  "I am 3/4ths Canadian, and one 4th New Englander - I had ancestors on both sides in the Revolutionary war." - Elizabeth Bishop  In 1978 Bishop told Alexandra Johnson in an interview, “I’ve never felt particularly homeless, but, then, I’ve never felt particularly at home. I guess that’s a pretty good description of a poet’s sense of home. [S]he carries it within [her]” (102). After 1930 Bishop returned to Great Village only occasionally (in 1946, 1947, 1951 and throughout the 1970s). But as she moved out into the world, she took her experiences of Great Village with her as touchstones. What Elizabeth Bishop carried within her was a vivid sense of space and time, shape and colour, a multi-dimensional perspective, a layered memory, which emerged first in Great Village, and which helped her navigate the world. Somewhere inside her mind, her childhood home, an “inscrutable house,” endured as an aesthetic template, anchor and exemplar.
  11. 11. Awards Won 1945: Houghton Mifflin Poetry Prize Fellowship 1947: Guggenheim Fellowship 1949: Appointed Consultant in Poetry at the Library of Congress 1950: American Academy of Arts and Letters Award 1951: Lucy Martin Donelly Fellowship (awarded by Bryn Mawr College) 1953: Shelley Memorial Award 1954: Elected to lifetime membership in the National Institute of Arts and Letters 1956: Pulitzer Prize for Poetry 1960: Chapelbrook Foundation Award 1964: Academy of American Poets Fellowship 1968: Ingram-Merrill Foundation Grant 1969: National Book Award 1969: The Order of the Rio Branco (awarded by the Brazilian government) 1974: Harriet Monroe Poetry Award 1976: Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters 1977: National Book Critics Circle Award 1978: Guggenheim Fellowship