My Last Door by Wendy Bishop


Love, sex, marriage, children, birds, animals, the moon and stars, books, history, myth, life, life, life. These are what the reader finds in this abundant book -- but more, so much more that one feels these poems accrue to the sum of a life, a life lived with absolute attention and fierce presence. Nothing is left out. We range from Bismarck, North Dakota to Heraklion; we suffer the plagues of Biblical Egypt, and we dream of apple pie before a kitchen stove in winter. The scope here, both in formal and open verse, is astonishing. We are fabulous beasts, Bishop declares. And she is the fabulist who ranges far and wide over the earth. This is Bishop'sLast Door. She has walked bravely through it, and -- how lucky for us -- she has left it open to her vast and compelling world. -- Frank X. Gaspar

I like to think of Wendy floating perpetually in midair, member of an aerial troupe of free spirits, creating soaring and swooping freeform arabesques with energy, grace, and beauty. Working without a net, Wendy demonstrated again and again that work is play, play is work. As I have read and reread Wendy's work, I have come to understand, ever anew, the truth that has been here all along in plain sight. If we love what we're doing, work is play, play is work. A prodigious output, such as Wendy's, seems overwhelming if thought of as work, inevitable if treated as fun. Her works and deeds live on. -- Lynn Z. Bloom

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