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

Saturday, October 5, 2019

From Pen to Hook: Part 15

This intricate rug is inspired by Bishop's poem "First Death in Nova Scotia," about the death of one of her little cousins, son of Arthur and Mabel Bulmer. Lighthall said she felt uncertain about depicting a scene that was common in the early 20th century -- the laying out of bodies at home. But I think this rug captures the poem beautifully, with the chromographs of the royal family on the wall, the loon on the table, Bishop's mother lifting her to see her cousin and the deep snow outside. Bishop wrote this scene with both profound mystery and serious humour. It was a moment in her life that shaped how she saw the fragility reality. She was both confused and comforted in the midst of this common ritual of her childhood.

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