Elizabeth Bishop Poetry: American Poets Analysis - Essay

Elizabeth Bishop Poetry: American Poets Analysis

(Poets and Poetry in America)

In her early poem “The Map,” Elizabeth Bishop writes that “More delicate than the historians’ are the map-makers’ colors.” Her best poetry, although only indirectly autobiographical, is built from those mapmakers’ colors. Nova Scotian and New England seascapes and Brazilian and Parisian landscapes become the geography of her poetry. At the same time, her own lack of permanent roots and her sense of herself as an observer suggest the lack of social relationships one feels in Bishop’s poetry, for it is a poetry of observation, not of interaction, of people as outcasts, exiles, and onlookers, not as social beings. The relationships that count are with the land and sea, with primal elements, with the geography of...

(The entire section is 4036 words.)