January 28, 2010

Elizabeth Bishop House

I’ve added a link to my site today because I’m reminded that the birthday of Elizabeth Bishop is coming up on February 8th. She would have been 99 years old.

Some of you may know that I’m one of several co-owners of her childhood home in Great Village, Nova Scotia. It’s set up as an artists’ retreat. Over the last four of five years, Bishop devotees have traveled far to spend time in the house. Although far from being a museum, the house has changed little over the years. Everyone who’s visited the house expresses in one way or another the sense of warmth in the house. Well, there is the notable exception of two women who could not figure out how to use the washer and were frightened by the mysterious rinse cycle. The lid, apparently, was confusing as to whether it went up or down, and the control buttons were cryptic. They were also frightened by a small pair of scissors which had been used as a bolt on the latch of the skylight window in Bishop’s childhood bedroom. They might well have belonged to the Bishop family, but we’ll never know because they have been disposed of safely.

I’ve posted the link on my “links” section, but here’s the site address in case you don’t feel like fooling around to find my links. Even I can’t find them at times. This site will tell you a bit about Bishop.

The photo of the house, you’ll see, is from early in the last century. Now, it’s a crisp white with green trim. It’s set close to the road and backed by about a third of an acre of trees and shrubs. There’s a little service station across the road – handy for milk and bread. It’s close neighbour is a magnificent antique store that was once the general store. In short, it’s a great little house in a great little village.

http://www.elizabethbishopns.org/elizabethbishophouse.html

Every year, we hold a poetry reading at the Nova Scotia Writers’ Federation on (get this) Terminal Road in Halifax, and this year it’s February 7th.  I’ll post the exact address and time later, but for now let me get the great kick out of writing “Terminal Road”.  Ah, the plight of writers.

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