Elizabeth Bishop is one of my favorite (if not my clear favorite) poets. I hesitate to call her my favorite because she was also my introduction to poetry. (the Frost I had to memorize in high school aside). Though I hesitate to name it, since it’s one of her most famous poems — and spotlights me as the poetry novice that I am — One Art is clearly my favorite, with The Fish coming in second.
So with this as the 100th anniversary of Bishop’s birth, I’ve been eagerly enjoying the articles and the reissuing of her poems, prose and letters between Bishop and the New Yorker. I’ve also been dipping back into the fantastic correspondence between her and Robert Lowell.
Now I find out that Bishop was an accomplished artist as well. Her painting of flowers was used on the cover of One Art.
I’ve always admired the ability of artists to cross into different disciplines. I dabble in other mediums (it’s something of a joke around here how many mediums) but have found nothing near the depth that Bishop accomplished with both her writing and painting.
Next week, I’ll be posting the first of the chapbooks I’ve been working on. They’re lightly visual, more fun than anything else, but possibly a start, a first step to something else.