Learn More

Elizabeth Bishop

(8 February 1911 – 6 October 1979 / Worcester, Massachusetts)

The Map


Land lies in water; it is shadowed green.
Shadows, or are they shallows, at its edges
showing the line of long sea-weeded ledges
where weeds hang to the simple blue from green.
Or does the land lean down to lift the sea from under,
drawing it unperturbed around itself?
Along the fine tan sandy shelf
is the land tugging at the sea from under?

The shadow of Newfoundland lies flat and still.
Labrador's yellow, where the moony Eskimo
has oiled it. We can stroke these lovely bays,
under a glass as if they were expected to blossom,
or as if to provide a clean cage for invisible fish.
The names of seashore towns run out to sea,
the names of cities cross the neighboring mountains
-the printer here experiencing the same excitement
as when emotion too far exceeds its cause.
These peninsulas take the water between thumb and finger
like women feeling for the smoothness of yard-goods.

Mapped waters are more quiet than the land is,
lending the land their waves' own conformation:
and Norway's hare runs south in agitation,
profiles investigate the sea, where land is.
Are they assigned, or can the countries pick their colors?
-What suits the character or the native waters best.
Topography displays no favorites; North's as near as West.
More delicate than the historians' are the map-makers' colors.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

Do you like this poem?
2 person liked.
1 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read poems about / on: sea, fish, green, water, women, running, fishing, city, woman

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (The Map by Elizabeth Bishop )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

New Poems

  1. Poppy, Hazel Connelly
  2. When Owls Do Cry, Poetic Lilly Emery
  3. Beautiful Sunset, John F. McCullagh
  4. Dull glory, Soumita Sarkar Ray
  5. The Blue of His Face, Marieta Maglas
  6. Moonlight Love, Krystal Whinery
  7. Haiku&, Morgan Michaels
  8. Haiku# Life-6, DEEPAK KUMAR PATTANAYAK
  9. Swollen Heart, Ronald Chapman
  10. Riddle poem-2, DEEPAK KUMAR PATTANAYAK

Poem of the Day

poet Henry David Thoreau

Conscience is instinct bred in the house,
Feeling and Thinking propagate the sin
By an unnatural breeding in and in.
I say, Turn it out doors,
Into the moors.
...... Read complete »

   

Trending Poems

  1. 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
  2. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  3. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  4. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  5. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  6. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  7. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  8. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  9. If, Rudyard Kipling
  10. Dreams, Langston Hughes

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]