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The Armadillo - Poem by Elizabeth Bishop

For Robert Lowell

This is the time of year
when almost every night
the frail, illegal fire balloons appear.
Climbing the mountain height,

rising toward a saint
still honored in these parts,
the paper chambers flush and fill with light
that comes and goes, like hearts.

Once up against the sky it's hard
to tell them from the stars--
planets, that is--the tinted ones:
Venus going down, or Mars,

or the pale green one. With a wind,
they flare and falter, wobble and toss;
but if it's still they steer between
the kite sticks of the Southern Cross,

receding, dwindling, solemnly
and steadily forsaking us,
or, in the downdraft from a peak,
suddenly turning dangerous.

Last night another big one fell.
It splattered like an egg of fire
against the cliff behind the house.
The flame ran down. We saw the pair

of owls who nest there flying up
and up, their whirling black-and-white
stained bright pink underneath, until
they shrieked up out of sight.

The ancient owls' nest must have burned.
Hastily, all alone,
a glistening armadillo left the scene,
rose-flecked, head down, tail down,

and then a baby rabbit jumped out,
short-eared, to our surprise.
So soft!--a handful of intangible ash
with fixed, ignited eyes.

Too pretty, dreamlike mimicry! O falling fire and piercing cry and panic,
and a weak mailed fist clenched ignorant against the sky!

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Poems About Animal

  1. 51. The Armadillo , Elizabeth Bishop
  2. 52. Coyote , Francis Bret Harte
  3. 53. The Paper Nautilus , Marianne Moore
  4. 54. Upon Hearing The News You Buried Our Dog , Aimee Nezhukumatathil
  5. 55. Toad , Diane Seuss
  6. 56. The Yak , Hilaire Belloc
  7. 57. Darwin's Finches , Deborah Digges
  8. 58. The Dusk Of Horses , James Dickey
  9. 59. To A Louse , Robert Burns
  10. 60. From The Canal , Michael Dickman
  11. 61. The Platypus , Oliver Herford
  12. 62. At Bay , Carl Phillips
  13. 63. The Future Is An Animal , Tina Chang
  14. 64. At The Zoo , William Makepeace Thackeray
  15. 65. Arachne , Rose Terry Cooke
  16. 66. The Eagle And The Mole , Elinor Morton Wylie
  17. 67. With Passing Wonder I Notice The Tracks .. , David Biespiel
  18. 68. The Mon-Goos , Oliver Herford
  19. 69. Grasshopper , Ron Padgett
  20. 70. The Heavy Bear Who Goes With Me , Delmore Schwartz
  21. 71. Eletelephony , Laura Elizabeth Richards
  22. 72. The Grasshopper , Conrad Potter Aiken
  23. 73. Maine Seafood Company , Matthew Dickman
  24. 74. The Purple Cow , Gelett Burgess
  25. 75. Address To Certain Golfishes , Hartley Coleridge
  26. 76. A Crocodile , Thomas Lovell Beddoes
  27. 77. The Lorca Variations (Xxviii) &Quot;For .. , Jerome Rothenberg
  28. 78. Mole , Wyatt Prunty
  29. 79. Feel Like A Bird , May Swenson
  30. 80. To The Grasshopper And The Cricket , James Henry Leigh Hunt
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