She's 100 Years Young: Happy Birthday Elizabeth Bishop

Happy Birthday Elizabeth Bishop: poet, painter, and prose writer. In the top left hand corner of this image is the message I'm sending to Miss Bishop in her own hand. "In this picture the tablecloth is part landscape, part map; the mirror part self, the newspaper part epic event." This Table with Candelabra, undated, was in the collection of Alice Methfessel, one of Bishop's lovers.

This watercolor is one of the many paintings Bishop did that are collected in Exchanging Hats. William Benton collected these forty-two paintings both from Vassar College and private collections all across the country for a gallery exhibit in the East Martello Museum, Key West,  1993.

I love how happy she looks in this photograph - one leg tucked behind the back of her other knee. I imagine her both intense and playful, capable of great sadness and great friendship. And although I never met her, never heard her read (although we both lived in Boston at the same time) I feel a strong kinship with her. Perhaps I will raise a glass to her tonight as I meet with other writer friends. I think she would approve.


  1. I enjoyed this post very much, Susan. I only recently learned that Bishop painted, so it's lovely to see the book mentioned.

  2. It's great to see some of her paintings. I feel a strong kinship with her and lift my glass to her today, too.


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