The Armadillo

The Armadillo

por Elizabeth Bishop

For Robert Lowell

This is the time of year
when almost every night
the frail, illegal fire balloons appear.
Climbing the mountain height,

rising toward a saint
still honored in these parts,
the paper chambers flush and fill with light
that comes and goes, like hearts.

Once up against the sky it's hard
to tell them from the stars--
planets, that is--the tinted ones:
Venus going down, or Mars,

or the pale green one. With a wind,
they flare and falter, wobble and toss;
but if it's still they steer between
the kite sticks of the Southern Cross,

receding, dwindling, solemnly
and steadily forsaking us,
or, in the downdraft from a peak,
suddenly turning dangerous.

Last night another big one fell.
It splattered like an egg of fire
against the cliff behind the house.
The flame ran down. We saw the pair

of owls who nest there flying up
and up, their whirling black-and-white
stained bright pink underneath, until
they shrieked up out of sight.

The ancient owls' nest must have burned.
Hastily, all alone,
a glistening armadillo left the scene,
rose-flecked, head down, tail down,

and then a baby rabbit jumped out,
short-eared, to our surprise.
So soft!--a handful of intangible ash
with fixed, ignited eyes.

Too pretty, dreamlike mimicry! O falling fire and piercing cry and panic,
and a weak mailed fist clenched ignorant against the sky!

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Misceláneas


Otros poemas de Elizabeth Bishop (leer al azar)


This celestial seascape, with white herons got up a …
flying high as they want and as far as they want si …
in tiers and tiers of immacu...

I dreamed that dead, and meditating,
I lay upon a grave, or bed,
(at least, some cold and close-built bower).

This is the house of Bedlam.
This is the man
that lies in the house of Bedlam.

There are too many waterfalls here; the crowded str …
hurry too rapidly down to the sea,
and the pressure of so many clouds on the mountaint

Moving from left to left, the light
is heavy on the Dome, and coarse.
One small lunette turns it aside

He sleeps on the top of a mast
with his eyes fast closed.
The sails fall away below him

About the size of an old-style dollar bill,
American or Canadian,
mostly the same whites, gray greens, and steel gray

Wasted, wasted minutes that couldn't be worse,
minutes of a barbaric condescension.
--Stare out the bathroom window at the fir-trees,

On the fair green hills of Rio
There grows a fearful stain:
The poor who come to Rio

The great light cage has broken up in the air,
freeing, I think, about a million birds
whose wild ascending shadows will not be back,

Hidden, oh hidden
in the high fog
the house we live in,

Half squatter, half tenant (no rent)—
a sort of inheritance; white,
in your thirties now, and supposed

A washing hangs upon the line,
but it's not mine.
None of the things that I can see

My love, my saving grace,
your eyes are awfully blue.
I kiss your funny face,

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