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Poems: North & South - A Cold Spring
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Poems: North & South - A Cold Spring

4.28 of 5 stars 4.28  ·  rating details  ·  39 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Hardcover, 95 pages
Published 1955 by Houghton Mifflin Company
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The 1955 volume POEMS reissued Elizabeth Bishop's debut collection North and South, but it also contained an entirely new collection titled A Cold Spring. One of the best places to get this material is the Library of America volume (ISBN 1598530178) that contains Bishop's complete poems and prose with a choice of letters, but I have found it interesting to slowly examine Bishop's collections on their own.

North and South was published in 1946, but of the poems predate the war (or at least America
Courtney Johnston
I fell for Elizabeth Bishop on the first page of this double-collection.

The Map

Land lies in water; it is shadowed green.
Shadows, or are they shallows, at its edges
showing the line of long sea-weeded ledges
where weeds hang to the simple blue from green.
Or does the land lean down to lift the sea from under,
drawing it unperturbed around itself?
Along the fine tan sandy shelf
is the land tugging at the sea from under?

The shadow of Newfoundland lies flat and still.
Labrador's yellow, where the moony Esk
I can't speak/write cogently on Bishop's poetry per se, so some thoughts.

Last week i listened to recordings of her readings. Yesterday, yet again, i noticed that my reading mind has different favorite bits than my listening mind's. Rhyme is more apparent when reading, as if it were visual. I experience rhythm and meter better while listening, though

While reading poetry these last couple weeks i also noticed that choice images or words send me wandering through memories moreso than novels and no
Sep 16, 2011 Tessa rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: pomes
I had no desire to read Elizabeth Bishop before, I think because, while "One Art" is obviously a tight poem, I was never bowled over by it. (I've never typed out "bowled over" before. It doesn't look right.) Then I read an article on The Millions about her and it quoted some irresistibly good poetry. So I took this book out of the library. Not only does it have a kick-ass cover design (this is the original printing), but the poems are so good. Not just well-written, but filled with goodness. May ...more
Ben Pieper
This is more a review solely for Bishop's "A Cold Spring" collection. I rally enjoyed reading her first collection "North & South" and although "A Cold Spring" does not (yet) live up to her first, there are still a few that struck me:

"A Cold Spring"
"Four Poems: I - Conversation + II - Rain Towards Morning"
"Letter to N.Y."
Justin Evans
About half of these were really good; about half were eye-rolling. Honestly, you can only use the word 'marl' so many times before it becomes precious. I think it might be once, too. Basically, when something actually happens and she feels free to comment on that happening, the poems are great; when nothing happens and she's just describing it's sleep inducing. For me anyway; I'm pretty uninterested in poetic descriptions of nature. I guess people fall madly in love with her travel poems, so may ...more
Dec 18, 2012 Eirin rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
Rating for A Cold Spring (though North and South got the same rating). I feel like A Cold Spring is slightly better than North and South - though only just. Half a star difference in rating. Brilliant poetry in both collections, but A Cold Spring seems more mature and consise than does North and South.
Elizabeth Bishop sculpts language into lean, elegant images, images that speak to the spirit. I read these poems while vacationing by the sea during a full moon week. Cold Spring is hauntingly beautiful . . . enough said!
With respect to Ms. Bishop, I get why critics see her as somewhat minor. The ideas are narrower in scope and the form is banal, but the execution is often lovely. Imagistic, descriptive.
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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
More about Elizabeth Bishop...
The Complete Poems, 1927-1979 Geography III One Art The Collected Prose Bishop: Poems, Prose, and Letters

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