Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979)
Elizabeth Bishop is one of my favorite poets. This poem is one I would like to memorize. Do I have the cheek to use it as a model?
We can notice that it is a villanelle (nineteen lines; five tercets followed by a quatrain; full rhymes, and a repeated, or almost repeated line that shimmies all the length of the poem). But notice, too, how it’s a list poem, and an instruction poem, addressed to a beloved you. You might borrow one or all of these techniques for your NaPoWriMo poem. (Why does typing that make me want to add a smiley face?)
Working in this form with students, I suggest that they think of a family saying, something they heard repeated throughout their childhood. (Take care of your teeth, and they will take of you! A place for everything and everything in its place!)
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.
This is my absolute favorite Bishop poem. Thanks for replaying it!
Jennifer — 6 days until I see you!