Elizabeth Bishop American Literature Analysis
Bishop held a unique place in American poetry during her lifetime, and after her death she has come to seem one of the few truly durable and original voices of twentieth century poetry. An accessible voice in a period of frequently puzzling poets, Bishop’s style was marked by precision and clarity, so that many critics have spoken of her work as a logical development of Imagism, the short-lived school of precise observation and clipped phrases of Pound and F. S. Flint in the early years of the century. The single most frequently evoked model, however, is Moore, with whom Bishop was friends, and whom she addressed directly in one of her poems, “Invitation to Miss Marianne Moore,” in A Cold Spring. Certainly the link between the two comes readily to mind, not only because of the biographical connection between the two poets but also because of Moore’s equally effective choice of precise words to evoke unitary states of things. Recently, however, some critics have challenged this linking.
The particular qualities of her poetry aside, it certainly added to Bishop’s mystique that during the period of her greatest fame she lived in Brazil and was rarely seen in the United States. Another factor contributing to her reputation, perhaps paradoxically, was the fact that she wrote relatively little, a factor in part of her recurrent bouts of alcoholism. Her complete poems are contained in a single volume, like those of T. S. Eliot, and can...
(The entire section is 3829 words.)
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