Feb. 8th, 2011

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....The water seems suspended
above the rounded gray and blue-gray stones.
I have seen it over and over, the same sea, the same,
slightly, indifferently swinging above the stones,
icily free above the stones,
above the stones and then the world.
If you should dip your hand in,
your wrist would ache immediately,
your bones would begin to ache and your hand would burn
as if the water were a transmutation of fire
that feeds on stones and burns with a dark gray flame.
If you tasted it, it would first taste bitter,
then briny, then surely burn your tongue.
It is like what we imagine knowledge to be:
dark, salt, clear, moving, utterly free,
drawn from the cold hard mouth
of the world, derived from the rocky breasts
forever, flowing and drawn, and since
our knowledge is historical, flowing, and flown.

~ from "At the Fishhouses," Elizabeth Bishop

*

Happy Birthday, Elizabeth.

Elizabeth Bishop is, so far, the second heavyweight lady author born this month; last week saw the birthday of Muriel Spark. Any others, I wonder? And ironically, today is the eleventh anniversary of Iris Murdoch's death. And thus ends Today in Lady Author Minutiae! Good day to you!

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