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English Language and Literature Commons

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American poetry

1998

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Reading Elizabeth Bishop As A Religious Poet, Cheryl Walker Jan 1998

Reading Elizabeth Bishop As A Religious Poet, Cheryl Walker

Scripps Faculty Publications and Research

Elizabeth Bishop is usually described as a modernist poet with a skeptical mind. This essay contests the critical tendency to dismiss religion as a serious concern in her poetry, by first challenging the widespread dismissal in the United States of all religious approaches to modern poetry and then challenging the tendency to disclaim attempts to read Elizabeth Bishop in religious terms. The essay includes a close reading of “The End of March” as a text which invites intertextual commentary from a Christian perspective.