Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Elizabeth Bishop's Florida

The state with the prettiest name,
the state that floats in brackish water,
held together by mangrave roots
that bear while living oysters in clusters,
and when dead strew white swamps with skeletons,
dotted as if bombarded, with green hummocks
like ancient cannon-balls sprouting grass.

These are the first few lines of Florida, by Elizabeth Bishop. Bishop was a twentieth-century American poet, who lived and worked in Key West in the 1930s and 1940s. She is also the topic of a Florida Humanities Council-sponsored lecture to be offered in Key West in December 2007.

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