Begun in Mexico and finished in Key West, Bishop’s “Anaphora,” a strange, atmospheric lyric much admired by Marianne Moore, has puzzled many by seeming to allude to something that readers find hard to pin down. Who is the “ineffable creature,” for example, mentioned in the first stanza, and what is the process of illumination that the beggar in the park experiences? Is this a poem about poetry, about poverty, about enlightenment? What do you think?
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