Crusoe in England Poem Text

Crusoe in England Poem Text

Crusoe in England (Excerpt)

A new volcano has erupted,

the papers say, and last week I was reading

where some ship saw an island being born:

at first a breath of steam, ten miles away;

and then a black fleck—basalt, probably—

rose in the mate’s binoculars

and caught on the horizon like a fly.

They named it. But my poor old island’s still

un-rediscovered, un-renamable.

None of the books has ever got it right.

Well, I had fifty-two

miserable, small volcanoes I could climb

with a few slithery strides—

volcanoes dead as ash heaps.

I used to sit on the edge of the highest one

and count the others standing up,

naked and leaden, with their heads blown off.

I’d think that if they were the size

I thought volcanoes should be, then I had

become a giant;

and if I had become a giant,

I couldn’t bear to think what size

the goats and turtles were,

or the gulls, or the overlapping rollers

—a glittering hexagon of rollers

closing and closing in, but never quite,

glittering and glittering, though the sky

was mostly overcast.

- Elizabeth Bishop

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