"I am 3/4ths Canadian, and one 4th New Englander - I had ancestors on both sides in the Revolutionary war." - Elizabeth Bishop

Friday, October 4, 2019

From Pen to Hook: Part 14

I was quite interested to see that Lighthall chose to do a rug based on Bishop's poem "Five Flights Up." This rarely remarked upon poem is the last one in her final collection, Geography III. This poem has a little bird and a little dog being observed by the "poet," who ponders our sense of self and time. The final lines in this poem are: "-- Yesterday brought to today so lightly! / (A yesterday I find almost impossible to lift.)" They are important to me because I took the title of my book from them: Lifting Yesterday: Elizabeth Bishop and Nova Scotia. We all lift and carry "yesterday" with us, and sometimes it is a heavy burden. Bishop lifted and carried her yesterday by writing transcendent poems that speak to many people "today."

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