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Geography III

4.39 of 5 stars 4.39  ·  rating details  ·  816 ratings  ·  39 reviews
Geography III, Bishop's final book of poems, first appaered in 1976. It contains such masterpieces as "In the Waiting Room," "The Moose," and "One Art."
Unknown Binding, 50 pages
Published January 1st 1976 by Farrar Straus Giroux
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Douglas
Georgraphy III won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry in 1976. Several poems in this collection have been widely anthologized, and rightly so.

In her most famous poem, “In the Waiting Room”, Bishop remembers when she was a young child waiting for her aunt to finish a dental appointment. She starts looking through a National Geographic magazine and sees the striking images of life on earth – the inside of a volcano, an American adventure couple donned in riding boots and helmets, t
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Matthieu
Worcester dentists: wait for your aunt Consuelo, sit and wait for her, there is snow outside, it was winter, it got dark early, the waiting room was full of grown-up people, there is snow covering your blankets, arctics and overcoats in your dreams, lamps and magazines; she was inside for such a long time, you are concerned, distracted, the world is spread out, materially spread out, entirely accessible to your hands; you read National Geographic, you can read, you study the photographs: the int ...more
Wayne
Jul 23, 2014 Wayne rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Wayne by: my friend Norma
SECOND REVIEW and REREAD - 2014

Have just added two new shelves to this poetry gem - Memoirs-biography and Movie-Seen-As-Well. "Reaching For The Moon", the film of Elizabeth Bishop's meeting with the architect Lota de Macedo in Brazil just released here in Sydney last week.
And that makes for a Capital Reason to reread this Favourite;
and hopefully lead onto her Collected Works for at least SOME dipping !

FIRST REVIEW and REREAD - 2008.

A little unexpected gem sent to me in 1983 for Xmas by my supe
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Justin Evans
My feelings are bit skewed, I think, since i read the first half of the book a few weeks ago, and just finished the second half. 'In the Waiting Room' is great, no doubt about it, and Crusoe in England too. The rest of the book? Meh. I suspect that all the deep interpretations of these poems are more about the reader than the poet, and to be honest, whatever it is that I go to poetry for, Bishop doesn't give it to me. The poems are very pretty, no doubt, and have intellectual heft. I'm not sure ...more
Jenna
It took me a long time to warm up to Elizabeth Bishop, mainly because her style of poetry is so emphatically not-warm and impersonal and seemingly dispassionate. Over the years, I've come to appreciate that there *is* a kind of cold, slow, subtle beauty inherent in the very meticulousness of her descriptions. And I do wish I had her profound sense of place. Still, I wonder if I'll always prefer poets who pack a stronger emotional punch.....poets whose poems burn and rage like wildfires.....poets ...more
Helen
Elizabeth Bishop's poem In the Waiting Room is one of my favorite poems. The little six year old girl alone in a waiting room at the dentist's office, not for her own appointment but for her aunt's, reading the National Geographic with "those awful hanging breasts". How all of these things come together and for the first time the child becomes not just self aware, but aware of how she is just one of many, is just awesome.

I say all of this because it's the first poem in this collection. And the
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Pamela
Nov 12, 2008 Pamela rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone!
This is the touchstone.
Valerie
As part of my Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence Between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell reading preparation, I wanted to read some Elizabeth Bishop. I hadn't read very much of her writing. I finished Geography III: Poems very quickly. There were only ten poems in the whole book. It was 50 pages, but the print was huge.

All of these poems were new to me. I have only read "The Fish" before.

I liked her imagery, and it seemed to me like the poems were written slowly and quietly. None of t
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Jamie
3.5 stars; gave it 4 because I like to think I'll come back to this collection in a few years and 'get' it. For poems like "In the Waiting Room," "The Moose," and "Crusoe in England," this would get a straight-up-on-the-rocks-5-star-rating. Much of the rest, though, was for me filler. And I find "One Art"--though not filler--certainly overrated (don't hurt me).

Someone teach me how to like Bishop more. "In the Waiting Room" is one of my favorite poems ever, but damn, she and I have been off to a
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Paula
I decided it was time to pull this off the shelf again. This is quite a short book to read, as it consists of only ten poems, but that doesn't make it any less worthy of a person's time.

This particular collection leaves out some of Bishop's most famous poems ("The Fish," "Sestina"), but includes some of her most profound ("One Art," "The Moose"). The idea is that these poems are global, as they range from that unknown island in "Robinson Crusoe" all the way up to Canada in "The Moose" and back
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Sherry Chandler
Recently Leatha Kendrick mentioned that Elizabeth Bishop's Geography III was a seminal work of modern poetry.

I've read Bishop sort of here and there, the biggies: "One Art," "The Moose," "In the Waiting Room" (all three of which are in Geography III). And I recently bought a copy of her complete poems. But a collected is a different critter from a collection.

So -- because I was going off on this residency in hopes immersing myself in poetry for a week -- of writing poetry of my own -- I thought
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Chris
A collection of poems I like but don't love. "In the Waiting Room" is my favorite of the bunch, but her translation of Octavio Paz' poem for Joseph Cornell titled "Objects & Apparitions" is not far behind. Something about her Crusoe poem keeps me coming back, but at times the poems, no matter how well crafted, fail for me. The "12 O'Clock News" proem--in which she imagines her desktop through the eyes of a tinytinytiny person--is strained and too damn cheeky, and "The End of March" (a "rumin ...more
Bananfish2
I think it was best that I read Bishop in a classroom, with someone who really was on fire about this poet's writing teaching it to me. My favorite poem is In the Waiting Room.
Claudia
Quién define la cultura? Debemos sentirnos atrapados en la ventana o es sólo nuestra perspectiva la que está encerrada? (In the Waiting Room). Cuáles son los espacios en blanco de los libros que debemos llenar, y cómo? (Crusoe in England)Estas son algunas de las preguntas que este libro nos brinda en forma brillante.

Who defines culture? Should we feel trapped in a window or is our perspective the one that is frame? (In the Waiting Room). Which are the blanks that we might fill in the books, and
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Dearwassily
It was okay. Maybe I'm a rube.
D
This book has "Crusoe in England" in it. I love that poem
Erin
I was expecting to NOT like this book, as my previous knowledge of Bishop's work was limited to the poem "One Art". The poem is clever, but never really knocked me out. However, Geography III is filled to the brim with gems: "The Moose", "The End of March", "Objects & Apparitions" and "Crusoe in England". Bishop is certainly clever in all these poems, but also restrained, concise and detailed. A great book!
Sarah
Reading only the section entitled Geography III in Bishop's larger collected works felt like cheating to me, but I have to be selective because my book list is long and deep. Many of the poems in this volume are classics and rightly so. Robinson Crusoe in England is one I've read but hadn't stuck with me like One Art has. I'm glad I reread this.
matt

There's something about her work that's just pure...

I understand that she gets relegated to the position of being a 'poet's poet's poet' and I can appreciate that and everything, but I think that her vividness and her plainspoken quality mixed with her immense subtlety comes together as few others really can.
Tim
One of a handful of books I can't quite bring myself to sell or give away, and I have the original hardcover first edition, somewhat rare and lovely in its spareness. "The Moose" and "One Art" are masterpieces but every poem in its rocks: lovely, insightful and so so so transparent. Just read them.
Chris Schaeffer
I read it in a car headed north. Where was I going? Providence? Wakefield? Vermont? I don't remember, but I do remember reading "Objects & Apparitions" at a rest stop in New Jersey drinking coffee out of one of those especially bulky styrofoam cups only Dunkin' Donuts uses. Well.
robert
If you read these in her Collected Poems, I recommend you ENCOUNTER them here. Her use of white space is impeccable. They breathe. Plus, on the back cover you get a wonderful testimonial by John Ashberry which explains her greatness better than anything else I have ever read.
Cindy
I decided Elizabeth Bishop is really hit and miss for me. Some things, I loved; others didn't do much for me. The book is worth checking out, though, just to read "12 O'Clock News," which was so hilariously clever (and silly) I wished I'd thought of it myself!
Jeff
Bishop's language didn't arrest me as much or as frequently in this collection but the overall effect of several of the poems, especially the longer ones, made up for that. I require many more readings before any thoughts worth sharing are likely to coalesce.
Donna Merritt
Who could not love Bishop's "Crusoe in England" or the descriptions in "The Moose" (the woods described as "moonlight and mist / caught in them like lamb's wool / on bushes in a pasture.")? And, of course, there is the brilliant "12 O'Clock News."
s ss
Bishop is a good poet. This is a short collection. It includes "One Art," one of my favorite poems of all time. I'd suggest reading it, just to get into the last book that Bishop, considered by some to be the best poet of the last 50 years, wrote.
James
I've always loved this book, and these other Elizabeth Bishop poems, from her other collections:

Sestina
Invitation to Miss Marianne Moore
Little Exercise
The Fish
The Filling Station
Becky Cantor
One of my favorite books. I especially love "One Art," "The Moose," and "In The Waiting Room." Fabulous!
Larry
My favorite poem of hers, "Crusoe in England" is here, but the rest ain't no slouch either.
Kirsti
"One Art" is the one that gets in all the anthologies, but I enjoyed "The Moose" too.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Elizabeth Bishop was an American poet and writer from Worcester, Massachusetts. She was the Poet Laureate of the United States from 1949 to 1950, a Pulitzer Prize winner in 1956. and a National Book Award Winner for Poetry in 1970. She is considered one of the most importa
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More about Elizabeth Bishop...
The Complete Poems, 1927-1979 One Art The Collected Prose Bishop: Poems, Prose, and Letters Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence Between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell

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“Dreams were the worst. Of course I dreamed of food
and love, but they were pleasant rather
than otherwise. But then I'd dream of things
like slitting a baby's throat, mistaking it
for a baby goat. I'd have
nightmares of other islands
stretching away from mine, infinities
of islands, islands spawning islands,
like frogs' eggs turning into polliwogs
of islands, knowing that I had to live
on each and every one, eventually,
for ages, registering their flora,
their fauna, their geography.”
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“--Suddenly the bus driver
stops with a jolt,
turns off his lights.

A moose has come out of
the impenetrable wood
and stands there, looms, rather,
in the middle of the road.
It approaches; it sniffs at
the bus's hot hood.

Towering, antlerless,
high as a church,
homely as a house
(or, safe as houses).
A man's voice assures us
'Perfectly harmless. . . .'

Some of the passengers
exclaim in whispers,
childishly, softly,
'Sure are big creatures.'
'It's awful plain.'
'Look! It's a she!'

Taking her time,
she looks the bus over,
grand, otherworldly.
Why, why do we feel
(we all feel) this sweet
sensation of joy?

'Curious creatures,'
says our quiet driver,
rolling his r's.
'Look at that, would you.'
Then he shifts gears.
For a moment longer,

by craning backward,
the moose can be seen
on the moonlit macadam;
then there's a dim
smell of moose, an acrid
smell of gasoline.”
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