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The Complete Poems- 1927-1979 Hardcover – 1 Jan 1983


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Hardcover, 1 Jan 1983
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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux (1 Jan. 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374127476
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374127473
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.2 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,893,144 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Elizabeth Bishop was vehement about her art--a perfectionist who didn't want to be seen as a "woman poet". In 1977, two years before her death she wrote, "art is art and to separate writings, paintings, musical compositions, etc., into two sexes is to emphasize values in them that are not art." She also deeply distrusted the dominant mode of modern poetry, one practiced with such detached passion by her friend Robert Lowell, the confessional.

Bishop was unforgiving of fashion and limited ways of seeing and feeling, but cast an even more trenchant eye on her own work. One wishes this volume were thicker, though the perfections within mark the rightness of her approach. The poems are sublimely controlled, fraught with word play, fierce moral vision (see her caustic ballad on Ezra Pound, "Visits to St Elizabeths") and reticence. From the surreal sorrow of the early "Man-Moth" (leaping off from a typo she had come across for "mammoth"), about a lonely monster who rarely emerges from "the pale subways of cement he calls his home", to the beauty of her villanelle "One Art" (with its repeated "the art of losing isn't hard to master"), the poet wittily explores distance and desolation, separation and sorrow. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Beautiful new edition of Bishop's Complete Poems with a new Introduction by Tom Paulin, poet, academic & favourite of BBC 2's Newsnight Review audiences --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A reader on 15 Nov. 2006
Format: Paperback
For many, Bishop is the quintessential American poet of the twentieth century. Subtle, crafted and frequently surreal, her poems tend to centre on loss, travel and the way we understand ourselves through the physical world around us. Her exquisite acts of describing islands, animals, ports and quietly untidy human habitations on the fringes show a thinking, exhiliratingly alert mind in action. This is oblique and layered poetry which reveals more on each re-reading. Her sestinas and villanelle 'One Art' are also the best in the business. This edition contains all her best known poems including 'The Bight', 'Crusoe in England', 'The Armadillo', 'Sandpiper', 'The Map' and 'The Fish'. Give it a try: these beautiful poems will stay with you long afterwards.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 27 Jan. 2002
Format: Paperback
Elizabeth Bishop's accute observations provide a fascinating insight into the mysteries that surround her. The poet's confusion over identity and belonging are artfully moulded in a series of fine poems, some semi-autobiographical, which explore the nature of travel and self.
The first poem in the collection, 'The Map', explores the importance of place, whilst 'Questions of Travel' marks a shift in her ideology. Bishop questions: "Is it right to be watching strangers in a play/ in this strangest of theatres?" and wonders whether we should "have stayed at home,/ wherever that may be?"
Bishop's detailed observations are perhaps most extraordinary in her contemplation of animals. Her animal poems, including 'The Moose', 'The Fish' and 'Roosters' are curious and insightful in their exploration of the animal kingdom and the effects animals have on humans.
In addition the wonders of childhood are developed in many of her poems, with 'Sestina' and 'First Death in Nova Scotia' being especially poignant in their pathos.
Bishop's accessible style makes the reading of her 'Complete Poems' a treat. You cannot help but become enthralled by the mysterious poet.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr. C. Ward on 21 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this when I was at university several years ago. I enjoyed reading it then and still enjoy it now. I think that's a good measure of a poet. Bishop's poems have a timeless quality to them, thanks to her precise, almost obsessive, way of looking at her subjects (such as the venerable old fish in 'The Fish', for instance, which is speckled and has 'barnacles,/fine rosettes of lime,/and infested/with tiny white sea-lice'). Poems like 'Roosters', 'At the Fishhouses' and 'In the Waiting Room' show this quite well. If you're after a definitive collection from one of the defining American poets of the twentieth century, buy this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By MeganJane on 4 May 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book as I had previously heard one of the poems 'One Art' read on the film 'In Her Shoes' starring Toni Collette and Cameron Diaz. I really loved the poem so decided that I would buy the book so that I could see other poems by the same author.
I was worried that it was going to be like when you hear a good song on the radio and so you go out and buy that album and it turns out that the actual album is rubbish, but that was not the case with this book. I love it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Did not know about this woman until BBC's R4 Poetry Please. Ordered the book after hearing that and have enoyed very much what I have read so far. An American with her heart in the rural life she saw, expressing herself in a new way for me.
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By Bertha Barlow on 30 Aug. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was as good as new. It has been hard to get hold of
but I would highly recommend it to others as Elizabeth Bishop
is a wonderful poet.
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