American Culture · American Literature · Anthology · Classic · Collection · Modernism · Poetry

Elizabeth Bishop

Love’s the boy stood on the burning deck
 trying to recite “The boy stood on
 the burning deck”. Love’s the son
        stood stammering elocution
        while the poor ship in flames went down.

 Love’s the obstinate boy, the ship,
 even the swimming sailors, who
 would like a schoolroom platform, too
        or an excuse to stay
        on deck. And love’s the burning boy.

— Elizabeth Bishop, “Casabianca,” The Complete Poems: 1927-1979. (Farrar, Straus and Giroux 1983) Originally published January 1st 1980.

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