Poetry, You Guys!

I discovered this week that I love Elizabeth Bishop’s poetry.  I read the poem posted below to Billy last night by way of explaining why I am constantly, obsessively neatening our apartment.

Filling Station

Oh but it is dirty!
-this little filling station,
oil-soaked, oil-permeated
to a disturbing, over-all
black translucency.
Be careful with that match!

Father wears a dirty,
oil-soaked monkey suit
that cuts him under the arms,
and several quick and saucy
and greasy sons assist him
(it’s a family filling station),
all quite thoroughly dirty.

Do they live in the station?
It has a cement porch
behind the pumps, and on it
a set of crushed and grease-
impregnated wickerwork;
on the wicker sofa
a dirty dog, quite comfy.

Some comic books provide
the only note of color-
of certain color. They lie
upon a big dim doily
draping a taboret
(part of the set), beside
a big hirsute begonia.

Why the extraneous plant?
Why the taboret?
Why, oh why, the doily?
(Embroidered in daisy stitch
with marguerites, I think,
and heavy with gray crochet.)

Somebody embroidered the doily.
Somebody waters the plant,
or oils it, maybe. Somebody
arranges the rows of cans
so that they softly say:
ESSO–so–so–so
to high-strung automobiles.
Somebody loves us all.

To which Billy replied, “You don’t neaten the apartment because you love us all.  You do it because you’re neurotic.”

Humph.

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1 Comment

Filed under Things

One response to “Poetry, You Guys!

  1. weird! a girl i work with just dressed up as Elizabeth Bishop and performed an Elizabeth Bishop poem for some performance poetry thing last week!

    also, I love this 🙂

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