Elizabeth Bishop quotes

  • Being a poet is one of the unhealthier jobs--no regular hours, so many temptations!
    -- Elizabeth Bishop

    #Jobs #Writing #Temptation

  • 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

    #Running #Country #Travel

  • 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.
    -- Elizabeth Bishop

    #Art #Cutting #Loss

  • 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.
    -- Elizabeth Bishop

    #Looks #World #Painting

  • 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?
    -- Elizabeth Bishop

    #Art #Roaring #Pieces

  • It is like what we imagine knowledge to be: dark, salt, clear, moving, utterly free.
    -- Elizabeth Bishop

    #Moving #Dark #Salt

  • And as to experience-well, think how little some good poets have had, or how much some bad ones have.
    -- Elizabeth Bishop

    #Writing #Thinking #Littles

  • 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.
    -- Elizabeth Bishop

    #Moving #Knowledge #Dark

  • 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.
    -- Elizabeth Bishop

    #Falling In Love #Stupid #Intelligent

  • 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?
    -- Elizabeth Bishop

    #Stories #Pages #Way

  • Topography displays no favorites; North's as near as West. More delicate than the historians' are the map-makers' colors.
    -- Elizabeth Bishop

    #Color #Topography #Maps

  • The whole shadow of Man is only as big as his hat.
    -- Elizabeth Bishop

    #Men #Shadow #Hats

  • Icebergs behoove the soul (both being self-made from elements least visible) to see themselves: fleshed, fair, erected, indivisible.
    -- Elizabeth Bishop

    #Self #Soul #Elements

  • 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.
    -- Elizabeth Bishop

    #Art #Self #Useless

  • I've never written the things I'd like to write that I've admired all my life.  Maybe one never does.
    -- Elizabeth Bishop

    #Writing #Doe

  • 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?
    -- Elizabeth Bishop

    #Believe #Forgive Me #Sloth

  • 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.
    -- Elizabeth Bishop

    #Success #People #Envy

  • The pigs stuck out their little feet and snored.
    -- Elizabeth Bishop

    #Pigs #Feet #Littles

  • Ports are necessities, like postage stamps or soap, but they seldom seem to care what impressions they make.
    -- Elizabeth Bishop

    #Sailing #Care #Soap

  • Lose something every day. Accept the fluster of lost door keys, the hour badly spent. The art of losing isn't hard to master.
    -- Elizabeth Bishop

    #Art #Doors #Keys

  • 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
    -- Elizabeth Bishop

    #Dream #Real #Men

  • Heaven is not like flying or swimming, but has something to do with blackness and a strong glare.
    -- Elizabeth Bishop

    #Strong #Swimming #Heaven

  • Someone loves us all.
    -- Elizabeth Bishop

    #God #One Love

  • 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.
    -- Elizabeth Bishop

    #Sorry #Writing #People

  • Hoping to live days of greater happiness, I forget that days of less happiness are passing by.
    -- Elizabeth Bishop

    #Forget #Passing #Passings

  • 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.
    -- Elizabeth Bishop

    #Dream #Fall #Sleep

  • Open the book. (The gilt rubs off the edges of the pages and pollinates the fingertips.)
    -- Elizabeth Bishop

    #Book #Pages #Fingertips

  • Dreams were the worst. Of course I dreamed of food and love, but they were pleasant rather than otherwise. But then I'd dream of things like slitting a baby's throat, mistaking it for a baby goat. I'd have nightmares of other islands stretching away from mine, infinities of islands, islands spawning islands, like frogs' eggs turning into polliwogs of islands, knowing that I had to live on each and every one, eventually, for ages, registering their flora, their fauna, their geography.
    -- Elizabeth Bishop

    #Dream #Baby #Knowing

  • I was made at right angles to the world and I see it so. I can only see it so.
    -- Elizabeth Bishop

    #World #Made #Angle

  • The art of losing isn't hard to master.
    -- Elizabeth Bishop

    #Art #Losing #Masters

  • 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.
    -- Elizabeth Bishop

    #Dream #Song #Fall

  • Oh, must we dream our dreams and have them, too?
    -- Elizabeth Bishop

    #Dream

  • ...what the Man-Moth fears most he must do..
    -- Elizabeth Bishop

    #Men #Moths

  • Think of the long trip home. Should we have stayed home and thought of here? Where should we be today?
    -- Elizabeth Bishop

    #Home #Thinking #Long

  • Time to plant tears, says the almanac. The grandmother sings to the marvelous stove and the child draws another inscrutable house.
    -- Elizabeth Bishop

    #Children #Grandmother #House

  • 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.
    -- Elizabeth Bishop

    #Book #Heart #Sleep

  • Insomnia" perhaps she's a daytime sleeper.
    -- Elizabeth Bishop

    #Insomnia

  • 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.
    -- Elizabeth Bishop

    #Breakup #Art #Writing

  • 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.
    -- Elizabeth Bishop

    #Beach #Spring #Ocean

  • 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?
    -- Elizabeth Bishop

    #Body #Way #Sun

  • Democracy in the contemporary world demands, among other things, an educated and informed people.
    -- Elizabeth Bishop

    #People #Democracy #Demand

  • The armored cars of dreams, contrived to let us do so many a dangerous thing.
    -- Elizabeth Bishop

    #Dream #Car #Dangerous

  • All the untidyactivity continues, awful but cheerful.
    -- Elizabeth Bishop

    #Cheerful #Awful