Thursday, January 26, 2012

On My Bookshelf

Scanning my bookshelf, I was looking for a book I thought I had that would tell me when some of these early pregnancy symptoms will subside.  As thrilled as I am for my sudden cup size increase, (when you are a AAA, there is nowhere to go but up!) the girls are sore.

Being the distracted person that I am, I picked up a different book.  It's been in my library for over a decade, The Complete Poems of Elizabeth Bishop.    And instead of reading up on pregnant maladies, I thumbed the pages and ended up devouring some of my most favorite pieces.

Twelve years ago, as a budding English major, I studied E.B. in one of my poetry classes.  I studied a lot of writers.  But Ms. Bishop woke something up inside of me.  I wish I could put into words (I know she would be able to) the way The Moose,  Sestina and The Sandpiper made me feel the world.  Not see the world or be aware of the world or realize I was in the world.  But I felt the world.   And I wanted to be a part of it.

I know it was a stereotypical, ideological, college sophomore moment.  But it was real, and those poems still make me feel something.  Which is odd, because her poems, the ones I really love, are about ordinary moments in life.  She captures a seemingly meaningless snapshot,  and turns it into something eloquent and consequential.

I never imagined, twelve years ago, that I would be here.  Pregnant for the second time with my fourth child.  The world doesn't know who I am.  My daily life full of routine and monotony.  We get up.  We have breakfast, then a nap.  We eat lunch.  We play.  We have a snack.  We play.  Dad comes home.  We have dinner, a bath, then bed.

Nothing extraordinary or significant.

Yet, these moments
are so incredibly
beautiful and important
to me.

If you'd like to read The Moose, (you really ought to) you should find it in a book and read it off real paper.  If that's not possible, I have it for you here.  


Any Girl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Red Clover said...


Anyone who mentions Elizabeth Bishop in a blog post gets extra points in heaven. I know they do. We feel like idealists because we believe that words well crafted can impact the world, and thankfully, those who grow older who actually get wiser continue to read poetry, because they know that it does.

Here, here, E.B. I am going to read 'One Art' again tonight.


Oh, that was me that deleted a comment. It was on an old account.