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Filling Station
Filling Station
by Elizabeth Bishop

Elizabeth Bishop’s Calling Card

What is the poet’s signature style?

No Stone Left Unturned

Bishop isn't one to gloss over details. If you're looking for a poem to take you on a magic carpet ride, swooping for a moment over mountaintops, then quickly turning toward the coastline, you're reading the wrong poet. Bishop is a poet of patience, persistence, and immaculate detail.

She has the ability to make a specific, even seemingly uninteresting place, come to life in 30-40 lines. She does this by describing every detail, unrelentingly. If she were a painter, she'd be the master of the still life. While a picture of a bowl of fruit might sound like a snooze at first, in the hands of a skilled artist, given the proper attention to texture and light, that stationary bowl of fruit can really come to life in a riveting way. Bishop has the same skill—with words. She makes us stop and study what we might ordinarily never give a second glance.

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