Questions of Travel
In Elizabeth Bishop’s fourth collection, verse and prose work in sublime tandem to guide the reader through the landscape of the poet’s imagination. The steady surfaces of her political poems give way to unflinching explorations of the dark events that shaped the direction of her life. Bishop’s father died suddenly when she was a child, and shortly afterward her mother suffered a nervous breakdown and permanent institutionalization. Left parentless, the young Bishop bounced from one relative to another. Her world in Questions of Travel is peopled with isolated, orphaned figures.