"Give Sorrow Words" & "Be Astonished, Tell About It"

What a strange, difficult, and beautiful time it’s been. I’ve found it harder and harder to blog as life has grown more intense. Highs are higher than they used to be, and lows, I’m sorry to say, are indeed lower. I think I expected age to bring more serenity and less drama, but that hasn’t been the case at all. The gift of living longer is loving more, and the cost of loving more is having more to lose.  I’ve said it before and am committed to saying it as often as possible: I’m so incredibly lucky to know and love so many good, brilliant, and fascinating people. The downside of this is that it sucks when any one of them is in pain. Sadly, many of my loved ones have faced terrible challenges recently. I’ve also lost several beloveds over the past few years to illness, accident, violence, and age. I’m beginning to understand now that this kind of loss will continue and increase in frequency if I’m lucky enough to continue to age. This is obvious, of course, to everyone who has already

Phoebe - One Year

A year ago today I lost one of the greatest loves of my life. Phoebe Search was bright, hilarious, deeply sensitive, and stubbornly joyful. She loved to sing at the top of her lungs, preferably for an audience. She loved adventure and mischief and philosophy and psychology and pop culture and garbage TV and smut. God, she loved smut. In delightful contrast, she was her best around children, and loved all of them, including her own, with the special ferocity of a mother who cherishes every fart and runny nose. She wanted nothing more than to shelter and protect their innocence from all the hardest parts of life.   She’d seen more than her fair share. She knew loss and rejection and horrors I wish no soul ever had to endure. People she loved sometimes brutally hurt her. Physical and mental anguish were familiar guests in her body. But she was also a powerful force for survival and flourishing against the odds. She survived all kinds of suffering to live and laugh and dress up for ano

By Candle

Poem 27. This one is from 20 years ago when we lived in New York City. Sending you love and candlelight. Untitled By Edith Hope Bishop, April 2003 one candle in a city apartment after the turn of the twenty-first century before dark even before he gets home one tiny ancient flame saying / believe in this and there is such a thing as history and a promise you can feel it/

Looking Glass

Poem 26. Nearly finished now. Looking Glass By Edith Hope Bishop, April 2015 Imagine this poem written backwards on glass and you standing near, reading it slowly, reordering the letters almost unconsciously to find meaning mingled with image. That could be the way of things. Made to shatter or wash clean in spring rain. Offering what you knew was there and more.

A List

Day 25. Today's poem is just a list, but it's a list of DELIGHTS. By Edith Hope Bishop, April 2023 A warm cup of chamomile tea with honey. Butt-dialing a friend and getting to hear their surprise and delight when you explain. Cats. Dogs. Extra time when on a tight deadline. Friends who somehow know what to say and say it. Grape skittles. Heated blankets and cocoas after walking home in the rain. Interesting and readable short essays on bizarre science facts. Just breathing. Kindnesses you weren’t expecting: a letter from a distant friend, a stranger’s compliment, a pre-paid toll or coffee, a door held open. Love. All of it. Music that makes you feel like dancing. Nights like tonight. Opening presents. Playing instruments. Quiet mornings after busy adventures. Rainbows. Stories for all occasions, but especially those that need courage. Telling someone exactly why you love them and knowing they heard (and believed!) you. Uncovering the answer to something you’ve been puzzling ove


Poem 24. XO. Yours By Edith Hope Bishop, December 2019 I would be a poet if you’d have me. I would be your poet. If you discovered, for example, on your way out, that you’d lost a word- fallen from your pocket slipped from your grasp- I’d stitch you a new one. Handing it to you- I’d let my touch linger- let our eyes meet- and that night, while you slept, I’d write you again in soft December sun and every blue the sea knows and come morning you’d have me again- slipped under your door- an unsealed envelope.

The Realist's Plea

Poem 23. Just one week left. Gentle reminder that I love your poetic responses (but I also just love you). Here, have a sonnet: The Realist’s Plea By Edith Hope Bishop, November 2015 I think no godly basket will collect, the souls we’ve dared to cultivate. Nor will some cosmic lottery select, which spirits live and join the greats. I can’t see us returned as trees, nor soldiers brave, nor kindly priests. Though some profess eternity, it seems to me that all will cease. What was whole will fall apart. What was real will scatter. Though we love with all our hearts, None of this will matter.   Yet there is Peace in time’s demise, And Peace in life, if we be wise.