Elizabeth Bishop Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 34 quotes)
I have seen it over and over, the same sea, the same, slightly, indifferently swinging above the stones, icily free above the stones, above the stones and then the world. If you should dip your hand in, your wrist would ache immediately, your bones would begin to ache and your hand would burnas if the water were a transmutation of firethat feeds on stones and burns with a dark gray flame. If you tasted it, it would first taste bitter, then briny, then surely burn your tongue. It is like what we imagine knowledge to be: dark, salt, clear, moving, utterly free, drawn form the cold hard mouthof the world, derived from the rocky breastsforever, flowing and drawn, and sinceour knowledge is historical, flowing, and flown.
The art of losing isn't hard to master; so many things seem filled with the intentto be lost that their loss is no disaster. Lose something every day. Accept the flusterof lost door keys, the hour badly spent. The art of losing isn't hard to master. Then practice losing farther, losing faster: places, and names, and where it was you meantto travel. None of these will bring disaster. I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, ornext-to-last, of three loved houses went. The art of losing isn't hard to master. I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster, some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent. I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.---Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture. I love) I shan't have lied. It's evidentthe art of losing's not too hard to masterthough it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.
Think of the long trip home. Should we have stayed at home and thought of here? Where should we be today? Is it right to be watching strangers in a play in this strangest of theatres? What childishness is it that while there's a breath of life in our bodies, we are determined to rush to see the sun the other way around? The tiniest green hummingbird in the world? To stare at some inexplicable old stonework, inexplicable and impenetrable, at any view, instantly seen and always, always delightful? Oh, must we dream our dreams and have them, too? And have we room for one more folded sunset, still quite warm?
I am in need of music that would flow. Over my fretful, feeling finger-tips, Over my bitter-tainted, trembling lips, With melody, deep, clear, and liquid-slow. Oh, for the healing swaying, old and low, Of some song sung to rest the tired dead, A song to fall like water on my head, And over quivering limbs, dream flushed to glow! There is a magic made by melody: A spell of rest, and quiet breath, and cool. Heart, that sinks through fading colors deep. To the subaqueous stillness of the sea, And floats forever in a moon-green pool, Held in the arms of rhythm and of sleep.
[Marianne Moore] once remarked, after a visit to her brother and his family, that the state of being married and having children had one enormous advantage: "One never has to worry about whether one is doing the right thing or not. There isn't time. One is always having to go to the market or drive the children somewhere. There isn't time to wonder 'Is this right or isn't it?
Dreams were the worst. Of course I dreamed of foodand love, but they were pleasant rather than otherwise. But then I'd dream of thingslike slitting a baby's throat, mistaking itfor a baby goat. I'd havenightmares of other islandsstretching away from mine, infinitiesof islands, islands spawning islands, like frogs' eggs turning into polliwogsof islands, knowing that I had to liveon each and every one, eventually, for ages, registering their flora, their fauna, their geography.