painting by Elizabeth Bishop
At the Fishhouses
To the Editor:
I wonder what was in David Orr’s mind when he decided to close his column about Ben Lerner’s “The Hatred of Poetry” (On Poetry, Aug. 28) by lifting his closing paragraph, practically word for word, from Elizabeth Bishop’s poem “At the Fishhouses.” He does Bishop’s gorgeously lyrical poem a huge disservice by pretending to pass it off as his own prose, which of course Bishop would have never approved, and neither do I.
Well, well, well, Mr Orr.
Fie and for shame
Fie and for double shame
At the Fishhouses
“At the Fishhouses” from The Complete Poems, 1927-1979
by Elizabeth Bishop. © 1979, 1983 by Alice Helen Methfessel. Used by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC. All rights reserved. http://www.fsgbooks.com
Source: The Complete Poems (Farrar Straus and Giroux, 1983)
(February 8, 1911 – October 6, 1979) was an American poet and short-story writer. She was Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress
from 1949 to 1950, the Pulitzer Prize
winner for Poetry in 1956,
the National Book Award
winner in 1970, and the recipient of the Neustadt International Prize for Literature
Now I must squeeze in a library visit to read more of her work.(wiki)
And her correspondence with Robert Lowell.
And look at her paintings.
Thank-you, Mr Lopresti, for bringing this wonderful artist to my attention.
Renoir – 1879 Seascape
The hurricane is a statement and not a watch or a warning, but the wind is gusty, the sky is grey and there are whitecaps in the harbor…Yep, it’s still Summer, but it wants to be Fall in New England.
On a related note….
New York Times Book Review. August 28, 2016. On Poetry/ David Orr.
“In Loath with the Lyric” p. 16. Review of Ben Lerner’s The Hatred of Poetry.
“Let’s forget the distance between my isolated archipelago and your bustling, workaday neighborhood, and let me tell you about how, where I sit, the ocean seems suspended above the rounded gray and blue-gray stones, how I have seen it over and over, the same sea, the same, slightly, indifferently swinging above the stones, and about how, if you should dip your hand in, your wrist would ache immediately, your bones would begin to ache and your hand would burn as if the water were a transmutation of fire that feeds on stones and burns with a dark gray flame.”
Gauguin – Seascape in Brittany
In the article, there’s a reference to William McGonagall The Tay Bridge Disaster
Whistler – Blue and Silver Trouville
Seascape at Saintes-Maries (Fishing Boats at Sea), 1888, Pushkin Museum, Moscow, Russia