Elizabeth Bishop, 100

video: Elizabeth Bishop, 100
video of Philip Morre's poem, Elizabeth Bishop, 100

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Elizabeth Bishop, 100

Impossible to imagine making it this far.
Just how often can you fall down the stairs?
Patched like Aunt Maud’s breakfast cups—
How brittle we are!—a filigree of repairs.

Heard Lota whispering—from up or down?
Ran through and—look!—the glass
has broken. Someone called—was it Frank?—
to say Cal’s heart had stopped in a taxi,
a ghost when he rode into town.

They could buy that cab (some Maecenas would pay)
and park it forever on 67th Street.
Found art: Here died the Poet.
Splash of facsimiles on the back seat,
urine stain. Hard to keep the mind’s mess at bay.

But one does. Busy Alice ministers and mends.
Propped at a clean desk, clean glass, arrange,
and rearrange the old words. The old world now
none of us can change. We were glad  friends.