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Elizabeth Bishop (Элизабет Бишоп)

Chemin De Fer

Alone on the railroad track
  I walked with pounding heart.
The ties were too close together
  or maybe too far apart.

The scenery was impoverished:
  scrub-pine and oak; beyond
its mingled gray-green foliage
  I saw the little pond

where the dirty old hermit lives,
  lie like an old tear
holding onto its injuries
  lucidly year after year.

The hermit shot off his shot-gun
  and the tree by his cabin shook.
Over the pond went a ripple
  The pet hen went chook-chook.

”Love should be put into action!”
  screamed the old hermit.
Across the pond an echo
  tried and tried to confirm it.

Elizabeth Bishop's other poems:
  1. O Breath
  2. The Monument
  3. Visits to St. Elizabeths
  4. Sandpiper
  5. View of the Capitol from the Library of Congress

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