Deceptively casual, simple, elegant language. What more could you ask for?
Elizabeth Bishop didn’t get her reputation for being a poet’s poet for nothing. Her poems are often praised for their ability to gracefully meld language that feels totally natural and unforced with poetic form, and some of her most famous poems, including this one, manage to use extremely complicated verse forms, like the villanelle and the sestina, while maintaining a sense of real-time conversation and clarity. Bishop’s work is also notable for its tone of calm reflection and sometimes unexpected bursts of humor.