All my life I have lived and behaved very much like the sandpiper - just running down the edges of different countries and continents, 'looking for something'.— Elizabeth Bishop
The most cheering Elizabeth Bishop quotes that are free to learn and impress others
The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent to be lost that their loss is no disaster.
What one seems to want in art, in experiencing it, is the same thing that is necessary for its creation, a self-forgetful, perfectly useless concentration.
Why shouldn't we, so generally addicted to the gigantic, at last have some small works of art, some short poems, short pieces of music [...], some intimate, low-voiced, and delicate things in our mostly huge and roaring, glaring world?
I am overcome by my own amazing sloth.
..Can you please forgive me and believe that it is really because I want to do something well that I don't do it at all?
All the untidyactivity continues, awful but cheerful.
Hoping to live days of greater happiness, I forget that days of less happiness are passing by.
Heaven is not like flying or swimming, but has something to do with blackness and a strong glare.
But he sleeps on the top of his mast with his eyes closed tight.
The gull inquired into his dream, which was, "I must not fall. The spangled sea below wants me to fall. It is hard as diamonds; it wants to destroy us all.
Icebergs behoove the soul (both being self-made from elements least visible) to see themselves: fleshed, fair, erected, indivisible.
The whole shadow of Man is only as big as his hat.
I am sorry for people who can't write letters.
But I suspect also that you and I ... love to write them because it's kind of like working without really doing it.
Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture I love) I shan't have lied.
It's evident the art of losing's not too hard to master though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.
What childishness is it that while there's breath of life in our bodies, we are determined to rush to see the sun the other way around?
The art of losing isn't hard to master.
Ports are necessities, like postage stamps or soap, but they seldom seem to care what impressions they make.
Time to plant tears, says the almanac.
The grandmother sings to the marvelous stove and the child draws another inscrutable house.
I HATED the Salinger story. It took me days to go through it, gingerly, a page at a time, and blushing with embarrassment for him every ridiculous sentence of the way. How can they let him do it?
Topography displays no favorites; North's as near as West. More delicate than the historians' are the map-makers' colors.
Open the book. (The gilt rubs off the edges of the pages and pollinates the fingertips.)
There are some people whom we envy not because they are rich or handsome or successful, although they may be all or any of these, but because everything they are or do seems to be all of a piece, so that even if they wanted to they could not be or do otherwise.
It was cold and windy, scarcely the day to take a walk on that long beach Everything was withdrawn as far as possible, indrawn: the tide far out, the ocean shrunken, seabirds in ones or twos. The rackety, icy, offshore wind numbed our faces on one side; disrupted the formation of a lone flight of Canada geese; and blew back the low, inaudible rollers in upright, steely mist.
Being a poet is one of the unhealthier jobs--no regular hours, so many temptations!
Lose something every day. Accept the fluster of lost door keys, the hour badly spent. The art of losing isn't hard to master.
I've never written the things I'd like to write that I've admired all my life.
Maybe one never does.
The armored cars of dreams, contrived to let us do so many a dangerous thing.
Oh, must we dream our dreams and have them, too?
Bishop on "At the Fishhouses"At the last minute, after I'd had a chance to do a little research in Cape Breton, I foundI'd said codfish scales once when it should have been herring scales. I hope theycorrected it all right.2Quite a few lines of "At the Fishhouses" came to me in a dream, and the scene- whichwas real enough, I'd recently been there-but the old man and the conversation, etc.,were all in a later dream
Something needn't be large to be good.
It is what we imagine knowledge to be: dark, salt, clear, moving, utterly free, drawn from the cold hard mouth of the world, derived from the rocky breasts forever, flowing and drawn, and since our knowledge is historical, flowing, and flown.
The pigs stuck out their little feet and snored.
Sometimes it seemsas though only intelligent people are stupid enough to fall in love & only stupid people are intelligent enough to let themselves be loved.
If after I read a poem the world looks like that poem for 24 hours or so I'm sure it's a good one—and the same goes for paintings.
It is like what we imagine knowledge to be: dark, salt, clear, moving, utterly free.
Someone loves us all.
What the Man-Moth fears most he must do.
Democracy in the contemporary world demands, among other things, an educated and informed people.
Close, close all night the lovers keep.
They turn together in their sleep, Close as two pages in a book that read each other in the dark. Each knows all the other knows, learned by heart from head to toes.
I was made at right angles to the world and I see it so. I can only see it so.
Think of the long trip home. Should we have stayed home and thought of here? Where should we be today?
And as to experience-well, think how little some good poets have had, or how much some bad ones have.