The Imaginary Iceberg

May 4, 2008





We’d rather have the iceberg than the ship,
although it meant the end of travel.
Although it stood stock-still like cloudy rock
and all the sea were moving marble.
We’d rather have the iceberg than the ship;
we’d rather own this breathing plain of snow
though the ship’s sails were laid upon the sea
as the snow lies undissolved upon the water.
O solemn, floating field,
are you aware an iceberg takes repose
with you, and when it wakes may pasture on your snows?

This is a scene a sailor’d give his eyes for.
The ship’s ignored. The iceberg rises
and sinks again; its glassy pinnacles
correct elliptics in the sky.
This is a scene where he who treads the boards
is artlessly rhetorical. The curtain
is light enough to rise on finest ropes
that airy twists of snow provide.
The wits of these white peaks
spar with the sun. Its weight the iceberg dares
upon a shifting stage and stands and stares.

The iceberg cuts its facets from within.
Like jewelry from a grave
it saves itself perpetually and adorns
only itself, perhaps the snows
which so surprise us lying on the sea.
Good-bye, we say, good-bye, the ship steers off
where waves give in to one another’s waves
and clouds run in a warmer sky.
Icebergs behoove the soul
(both being self-made from elements least visible)
to see them so: fleshed, fair, erected indivisible.




i think bishop is trying to say that we would rather have an iceberg than a ship, because an iceberg is not constant, and the outcome is unknown. where as when it comes to a ship, you know your definite location, and where it is going to end up. “Good-bye, we say, good-bye, the ship steers off
where waves give in to one another’s waves and clouds run in a warmer sky.
Icebergs behoove the soul (both being self-made from elements least visible) to see them so: fleshed, fair, erected indivisible.” bishop is having us say goodbye to the ship, and goodbye to the concrete ideal of life. she wants us to “live on an iceberg,” and live a life where not everything is clearly cut for you. what the iceberg is, and what it represents, changes from person to person. whats important is how you yourself define it

how would you define your iceberg?



Ready for change

January 28, 2008


a mix of things have happened this past weekend that really got me thinking about a lot of different things. all i do know is i am ready for change. this weekend a conference i attended really got me thinking about the different things that i can do to make a difference. i can vote. i can change the world.  i can have a say in who is the next president of the united states. and for me, that is a huge deal. i am not only ready for change, but i am going to be that change. the quote in my blog, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world,”  just describes the way im feeling. im watching my friends and i become more and more involved, and that just makes me really happy. we went to an obama rally, we can affect peoples lives. my friend is doing a project for darfur, she is going to make a change. i dont know what brought this blog. maybe it was just the conference i was at. watching a stimulation of people taking on issues, and coming up with resultions to them. it wasnt real, and the changes wouldnt happen, but i saw people put all their effort into making sure it was resolved correctly. it just really got me thinking. like in the poem by walt whitman, song of myself

“I will go to the bank by the wood, and become undisguised and naked; I am mad for it to be in contact with me.” i am ready to go out into the world, with my guard down, and ready for it to be in contact with me, and change it.


January 16, 2008


Roads not yet glistening, rain slight,
Broken clouds darken after thinning away.
Where they drift, purple cliffs blacken.
And beyond — white birds blaze in flight.

Sounds of cold-river rain grown familiar,
Autumn sun casts moist shadows. Below
Our brushwood gate, out to dry at the village
Mill: hulled rice, half-wet and fragrant 

 for some reason, when i read things this descriptive i get sounds or tastes that come back in my memory. for this poem, i was reminded of sitting in a quiet room during a rain storm, and just listening to the rain fall. for some reason, reading this poem reminded me of the peaceful feeling i get when i just sit and listen. the ending line,

“The flame flickers good fortune over and over– and for what?” So it’s like you’re listening to it, and what it brings for you, but then it’s like..for what?  what’s interesting about Tu Fu is that a lot of his poems end like that, the idea of whats the point?…this one does, and so does gazing at a sacred peak.. existentialism?! 

“We will grieve not, rather find strength in what remains behind; in the primal sympathy which having been must ever be”

i just liked this line, the idea of not living in the past and what is gone, but know what is there and find strength and support in it