This week:Edited by: Stormy Lady
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This is poetry from the minds and the hearts of poets on Writing.Com. The poems I am going to be exposing throughout this newsletter are ones that I have found to be, very visual, mood setting and uniquely done. Stormy Lady
Sleeping On The Ceiling
by Elizabeth Bishop
It is so peaceful on the ceiling!
It is the Place de la Concorde.
The little crystal chandelier
is off, the fountain is in the dark.
Not a soul is in the park.
Below, where the wallpaper is peeling,
the Jardin des Plantes has locked its gates.
Those photographs are animals.
The mighty flowers and foliage rustle;
under the leaves the insects tunnel.
We must go under the wallpaper
to meet the insect-gladiator,
to battle with a net and trident,
and leave the fountain and the square
But oh, that we could sleep up there....
by Elizabeth Bishop
This celestial seascape, with white herons got up as angels,
flying high as they want and as far as they want sidewise
in tiers and tiers of immaculate reflections;
the whole region, from the highest heron
down to the weightless mangrove island
with bright green leaves edged neatly with bird-droppings
like illumination in silver,
and down to the suggestively Gothic arches of the mangrove roots
and the beautiful pea-green back-pasture
where occasionally a fish jumps, like a wildflower
in an ornamental spray of spray;
this cartoon by Raphael for a tapestry for a Pope:
it does look like heaven.
But a skeletal lighthouse standing there
in black and white clerical dress,
who lives on his nerves, thinks he knows better.
He thinks that hell rages below his iron feet,
that that is why the shallow water is so warm,
and he knows that heaven is not like this.
Heaven is not like flying or swimming,
but has something to do with blackness and a strong glare
and when it gets dark he will remember something
strongly worded to say on the subject.
On February 8, 1911 Elizabeth Bishop was born in Worcester, Massachusetts. Her father died before she turned a year old. After her fathers untimely death Bishop’s mother mental state started slipping away. By the time Bishop was 5 her mother was institutionalized and would live out the rest of her life in the asylum. Bishop would never again see her mother. Bishop lived with her grandparents until starting boarding school at Walnut Hill School in Natick, Massachusetts. She started Vassar College in 1929. Bishop co-founded a rebel literary magazine in 1933 while in her last year at Vassar.
After graduating Bishop moved to New York City. Bishop spent any years traveling. Her first poem North & South was published in 1946 and won the Houghton Mifflin Poetry Award. In 1951 Bishop traveled to South America. She stopped in Santos, Brazil for a two-week stay, which ended up lasting almost sixteen years. In 1956 Bishop received the Pulitzer Prize for North & South- A Cold Spring. While living in Brazil she met Lota de Macedo Soares. The two were lovers for many years until the couple’s relationship became extremely violent in 1967. Bishop moved back to Massachusetts that same year.
Her book Questions of Travel was published in 1965 and won the National Book Award. Bishop’s next book The Complete Poems was published in 1969. Bishop met Alice Methfessel in 1971, and began a relationship with her. The two were together until Bishop's death. Her book Geography III was published in 1976 and received the National Book Critics Circle Award. Also that same year Bishop received the Neustadt International Prize for Literature, she was the first women and only American to receive that prize.
On October 6, 1979 Bishop died of a cerebral hemorrhage while at her home in Lewis Wharf, Boston. She is buried in Worcester, Massachusetts. Bishop had two books published after her death, The Complete Poems, 1927-1979, was published in early 1983, and The Collected Prose was published in 1984.
Love Lies Sleeping
by Elizabeth Bishop
Earliest morning, switching all the tracks
that cross the sky from cinder star to star,
coupling the ends of streets
to trains of light.
now draw us into daylight in our beds;
and clear away what presses on the brain:
put out the neon shapes
that float and swell and glare
down the gray avenue between the eyes
in pinks and yellows, letters and twitching signs.
Hang-over moons, wane, wane!
From the window I see
an immense city, carefully revealed,
made delicate by over-workmanship,
detail upon detail,
cornice upon facade,
reaching up so languidly up into
a weak white sky, it seems to waver there.
(Where it has slowly grown
in skies of water-glass
from fused beads of iron and copper crystals,
the little chemical "garden" in a jar
trembles and stands again,
pale blue, blue-green, and brick.)
The sparrows hurriedly begin their play.
Then, in the West, "Boom!" and a cloud of smoke.
"Boom!" and the exploding ball
of blossom blooms again.
(And all the employees who work in a plants
where such a sound says "Danger," or once said "Death,"
turn in their sleep and feel
the short hairs bristling
on backs of necks.) The cloud of smoke moves off.
A shirt is taken of a threadlike clothes-line.
Along the street below
the water-wagon comes
throwing its hissing, snowy fan across
peelings and newspapers. The water dries
light-dry, dark-wet, the pattern
of the cool watermelon.
I hear the day-springs of the morning strike
from stony walls and halls and iron beds,
scattered or grouped cascades,
alarms for the expected:
queer cupids of all persons getting up,
whose evening meal they will prepare all day,
you will dine well
on his heart, on his, and his,
so send them about your business affectionately,
dragging in the streets their unique loves.
Scourge them with roses only,
be light as helium,
for always to one, or several, morning comes
whose head has fallen over the edge of his bed,
whose face is turned
so that the image of
the city grows down into his open eyes
inverted and distorted. No. I mean
distorted and revealed,
if he sees it at all.
Thank you all!
The winner of "Stormy's poetry newsletter & contest" [13+] is:
East winds blow hot and dry
another year crops fail
Soon the count will be eight
the East wind still prevail.
Devalued gold reserves
so the once good credit
One's back against the wall
nothing left to debit.
Sweet waters flow away
watering foreign lands
Our Nations peoples
thirsty from their demands
Hands deal in hidden ways
fill their pockets with gold
The common hand dealt cards
no way can win but fold.
Pockets of rich care not
our gold pays their way
The common man below
barely survives each day.
The sun burns all about
East winds bring not a cloud
We squint from withered shades
trying to cry out loud.
Cracked lips and swollen tongues
just too weary to try
Last springs cooling waters
slowly starting to dry.
The Face of Chaos grins
within our Nation's walls
Waiting for Panic's Face
to start our Nations fall.
Man's history books may show
chaos brought us such doom
Hand writings on the wall
pray winds of change come soon...
Your house has been quiet and dark.
Has the sun bleached your colors
And faded them into nothingness?
Are they banished to darkness forever?
Just as the heat of the harsh sunlight
Burns colors from clothes on a line,
Depression drains joy from our hearts,
And with it fades our strength to fight back.
Unlike clothes bleached out by the sun,
Your colors will return when you are better.
Depression scrambles our minds and
twists thoughts into mangled wanderings.
A rest in the shade, and some cool water
Will refresh you and bring back your colors.
Encouragement from friends is like water added
to a pallette of new and vibrant water colors.
Please hurry back, my black and white friend.
Find your colors soon, and paint my world with joy.
I long to see your house alive with colors again,
And hear the music of your poetry.
These are the rules:
1) You must use the words I give in a poem or prose with no limits on length.
2) The words can be in any order and anywhere throughout the poem and can be any form of the word.
3) All entries must be posted in your portfolio and you must post the link in this forum by August 26 , 2008.
4) The winner will get 3000 gift points and the poem will be displayed in this section of the newsletter the next time it is my turn to post (September 3, 2008)
The words are:
pastel braids youth soft tangled gold grey branches
Good luck to all
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