Look Before You Leap

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I think it is fun that Elizabeth Bishop wrote The Armadillo for Robert Lowell, the next poet we read. I only wish I knew what it was about. Any help?

As for the rest of Bishop, I liked Manners and Filling Station. I found it amusing that when the mare got tired at the end of Manners that the people still have "manners" for the animal and got down to walk up the hill. The had to hustle up Hustler Hill.

I have a question about Filling Station though. What exactly was Bishop's or really the narrator's idea of the station? It seemed to me that they really disliked it and couldn't imagine people living there. But at the end, the narrator says "Somebody loves us all." Are they being sarcastic? It may help if I knew what a doily, hirsute begonia, and a taboret is.

Onto Robert Lowell, I liked Returning Turtle (RT) more than Bringing A Turtle Home (BTH) because the former was easier for me to understand. The allusions to Mount Olympus and Castine in BTH I just didn't get, but I do understand The Great White Father and the Sioux in RT.

My favorite part was "...[we] watched the turtle/ rush for the water like rushing into marriage,/ swimming into uncontaminated joy," because I thought of the many people who "rush" into marriage young and full of life. When the marriage ends (either in death or divorce), they are often left tired and joyless. But, I couldn't find any negative for the turtle besides the "look before you leap" cliche. Even then, the turtle comes to no harm.


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