Poésies de Elizabeth Bishop

usPoésie américaine


  • A Miracle for Breakfast

    At six o'clock we were waiting for coffee,
    waiting for coffee and the charitable crumb

  • A Prodigal

    The brown enormous odor he lived by
    was too close, with its breathing and thick hair,

  • Anaphora

    Each day with so much ceremony
    begins, with birds, with bells,
    with whistles from a factory;
    such white-gold skies our eyes

  • Argument

    Days that cannot bring you near
    or will not,
    Distance trying to appear
    something more obstinate,
    argue argue argue with me

  • Arrival At Santos

    Here is a coast; here is a harbor;
    here, after a meager diet of horizon, is some scenery:

  • At the Fishhouses

    Although it is a cold evening,
    down by one of the fishhouses
    an old man sits netting,


  • Cape Breton

    Out on the high "bird islands," Ciboux and Hertford,
    the razorbill auks and the silly-looking puffins all stand

  • Casabianca

    Love's the boy stood on the burning deck
    trying to recite `The boy stood on
    the burning deck.' Love's the son

  • Chemin De Fer

    Alone on the railroad track
    I walked with pounding heart.
    The ties were too close together
    or maybe too far apart.

  • Cirque D'Hiver

    Across the floor flits the mechanical toy,
    fit for a king of several centuries back.

  • Conversation

    The tumult in the heart
    keeps asking questions.
    And then it stops and undertakes to answer
    in the same tone of voice.


  • Exchanging Hats

    Unfunny uncles who insist
    in trying on a lady's hat,
    --oh, even if the joke falls flat,
    we share your slight transvestite twist


  • Filling Station

    Oh, but it is dirty!
    --this little filling station,
    oil-soaked, oil-permeated
    to a disturbing, over-all
    black translucency.

  • First Death In Nova Scotia

    In the cold, cold parlor
    my mother laid out Arthur
    beneath the chromographs:
    Edward, Prince of Wales,
    with Princess Alexandra,

  • Five Flights Up

    Still dark.
    The unknown bird sits on his usual branch.
    The little dog next door barks in his sleep
    inquiringly, just once.

  • Florida

    The state with the prettiest name,
    the state that floats in brackish water,
    held together by mangrave roots


  • Giant Toad

    I am too big. Too big by far. Pity me.
    My eyes bulge and hurt. They are my one great beauty, even


  • I Am in Need of Music

    I am in need of music that would flow
    Over my fretful, feeling fingertips,
    Over my bitter-tainted, trembling lips,

  • In the Waiting Room

    In Worcester, Massachusetts,
    I went with Aunt Consuelo
    to keep her dentist's appointment
    and sat and waited for her

  • Insomnia

    The moon in the bureau mirror
    looks out a million miles
    (and perhaps with pride, at herself,
    but she never, never smiles)

  • Invitation to Miss Marianne Moore

    From Brooklyn, over the Brooklyn Bridge, on this fine morning,
    please come flying.
    In a cloud of fiery pale chemicals,


  • Large Bad Picture

    Remembering the Strait of Belle Isle or
    some northerly harbor of Labrador,
    before he became a schoolteacher

  • Letter To N.Y.

    For Louise Crane
    In your next letter I wish you'd say
    where you are going and what you are doing;

  • Lines Written In The Fannie Farmer Cookbook

    [Given to Frank Bidart]
    You won't become a gourmet* cook
    By studying our Fannie's book--

  • Little Exercise

    For Thomas Edwards Wanning
    Think of the storm roaming the sky uneasily
    like a dog looking for a place to sleep in,

  • Love Lies Sleeping

    Earliest morning, switching all the tracks
    that cross the sky from cinder star to star,
    coupling the ends of streets

  • Lullaby For the Cat

    Minnow, go to sleep and dream,
    Close your great big eyes;
    Round your bed Events prepare
    The pleasantest surprise.


  • Manners

    For a Child of 1918
    My grandfather said to me
    as we sat on the wagon seat,
    "Be sure to remember to always

  • Manuelzinho

    [Brazil. A friend of the writer is speaking.]
    Half squatter, half tenant (no rent)
    a sort of inheritance; white,


  • North Haven

    In Memoriam: Robert Lowell
    I can make out the rigging of a schooner
    a mile off; I can count


  • O breath

    Beneath that loved   and celebrated breast,
    silent, bored really   blindly veined,
    grieves, maybe   lives and lets

  • One Art

    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,


  • Poem

    About the size of an old-style dollar bill,
    American or Canadian,
    mostly the same whites, gray greens, and steel grays


  • Questions of Travel

    There are too many waterfalls here; the crowded streams
    hurry too rapidly down to the sea,


  • Rain Towards Morning

    The great light cage has broken up in the air,
    freeing, I think, about a million birds

  • Roosters

    At four o'clock
    in the gun-metal blue dark
    we hear the first crow of the first cock
    just below
    the gun-metal blue window


  • Sandpiper

    The roaring alongside he takes for granted,
    and that every so often the world is bound to shake.

  • Seascape

    This celestial seascape, with white herons got up as angels,
    flying high as they want and as far as they want sidewise

  • Sestina

    September rain falls on the house.
    In the failing light, the old grandmother
    sits in the kitchen with the child

  • Sleeping on the Ceiling

    It is so peaceful on the ceiling!
    It is the Place de la Concorde.
    The little crystal chandelier

  • Song for the Rainy Season

    Hidden, oh hidden
    in the high fog
    the house we live in,
    beneath the magnetic rock,
    rain-, rainbow-ridden,
    where blood-black

  • Songs for a Colored Singer

    A washing hangs upon the line,
    but it's not mine.
    None of the things that I can see
    belong to me.

  • Sonnet

    I am in need of music that would flow
    Over my fretful, feeling finger-tips,
    Over my bitter-tainted, trembling lips,

  • Sonnet (1928)

    I am in need of music that would flow
    Over my fretful, feeling finger-tips,
    Over my bitter-tainted, trembling lips,

  • Sonnet (1979)

    Caught -- the bubble
    in the spirit level,
    a creature divided;
    and the compass needle
    wobbling and wavering,

  • Squatter's Children

    On the unbreathing sides of hills
    they play, a specklike girl and boy,
    alone, but near a specklike house.

  • Tous les poèmes de Elizabeth Bishop débutant par la lettre S


  • The Armadillo

    For Robert Lowell
    This is the time of year
    when almost every night
    the frail, illegal fire balloons appear.

  • The Bight

    At low tide like this how sheer the water is.
    White, crumbling ribs of marl protrude and glare

  • The Burglar Of Babylon

    On the fair green hills of Rio
    There grows a fearful stain:
    The poor who come to Rio
    And can't go home again.

  • The Colder The Air

    We must admire her perfect aim,
    this huntress of the winter air
    whose level weapon needs no sight,

  • The End Of March

    For John Malcolm Brinnin and Bill Read: Duxbury
    It was cold and windy, scarcely the day
    to take a walk on that long beach

  • The Fish

    I caught a tremendous fish
    and held him beside the boat
    half out of water, with my hook
    fast in a corner of his mouth.

  • The Imaginary Iceberg

    We'd rather have the iceberg than the ship,
    although it meant the end of travel.
    Although it stood stock-still like cloudy rock

  • The Man-moth

    Here, above,
    cracks in the buldings are filled with battered moonlight.
    The whole shadow of Man is only as big as his hat.

  • The Map

    Land lies in water; it is shadowed green.
    Shadows, or are they shallows, at its edges

  • The Monument

    Now can you see the monument? It is of wood
    built somewhat like a box. No. Built
    like several boxes in descending sizes

  • Tous les poèmes de Elizabeth Bishop débutant par la lettre T