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At The Fishhouses

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)
Elizabeth Bishop (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,[1] the National Book Award winner in 1970, and the recipient of the Neustadt International Prize for Literature in 1976.
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.

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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



Van Gogh

Seascape at Saintes-Maries (Fishing Boats at Sea), 1888, Pushkin Museum, Moscow, Russia

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Hokey Poky Ice Cream Cone


August Ice-Cream Cone Poem



Paul B. Janeczko

 Food Fight, edited and illustrated. by Michael J. Rosen. Harcourt Brace & Co, 1996. p. 37.

food fight

In looking for images of ice cream cones, I found a reference to…..

The Hokey Poky

Now, I’m probably not the only one who wants to know what is the connection between  ice cream, cone and  Hokey Poky.

Honestly,  What’s it’s all about?????

hokey poky what if 650

In New Zealand there’s an ice cream called Hokey Poky.

It vanilla ice cream wit h

Hokey Poky ice cream is vanilla ice cream with pieces of honeycomb toffee.

But that’s not all…..

Hokey Poky was also slang in the late 19th and early 20th centuries for ice cream vendors – it would seem especially Italian Ice cream vendors. Hmm, My people.

Before there were cones, there were penny licks. A penny lick is the dish the ice cream was sold in. You licked the ice cream and gave the bowl back. The bowl was washed/rinsed and used again…I would just like to add “grimace icky yuck’ here. Hence the invention of the CONE. And not a moment too soon.

Penny Lick Glasses

Penny Lick Glasses

The first ice cream cone was produced in New York City in 1896 by Italo Marchiony, an Italian immigrant who was granted a patent in December 1903 for “small pastry cups with sloping sides.” The bottoms were flat, not conical. Ice cream and more Italians…There are other cone invention stories. But this is the earliest patent.

The earliest patent for a cone was somewhat like this....but of, course, there's MORE

The earliest patent for a cone was somewhat like this….but of, course, there’s MORE

Of course, although it’s totally unfounded, the very invention of ice cream has been attributed to another Italian – Catherina de Medici…which is nonsense, but the idea that the French had no good food until an Italian girl brought it over to them ….fantasy fiction is not such a recent invention after all.

Catherine deMedici

Catherina de Medici


Notice the HOKEY on the cart. This is in England on Brighton Beach

It would seem that the Hokey Poky dance may have been invented independently of ice cream and Italian vendors.hokey poky keep calmHokey poky danceOne more ice cream image….

Walls and Ice Cream are also connected - long lost family????

Walls and Ice Cream are also connected – long lost family????


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