Monday, April 30, 2012

Poem for an April Day #11: "Filling Station"



April is national poetry month.
Today is the last day of April, national poetry month.  I chose this poem, "Filling Station," by Elizabeth Bishop, to be my last poem of the month.  There is beauty in everything, even the ugliest places, and this virtuosic little gem is a reminder that, no matter how plain or ugly we may seem, someone loves us all.

Filling Station

Oh, but it is dirty!
--this little filling station,
oil-soaked, oil-permeated
to a disturbing, over-all
black translucency.
Be careful with that match!

Father wears a dirty,
oil-soaked monkey suit
that cuts him under the arms,
and several quick and saucy
and greasy sons assist him
(it's a family filling station),
all quite thoroughly dirty.

Do they live in the station?
It has a cement porch
behind the pumps, and on it
a set of crushed and grease-
impregnated wickerwork;
on the wicker sofa
a dirty dog, quite comfy.

Some comic books provide
the only note of color--
of certain color.  They lie
upon a big dim doily
draping a taboret
(part of the set), beside
a big hirsuite begonia.

Why the extraneous plant?
Why the taboret?
Why, oh why, the doily?
(Ebroidered in daisy stitch
with marguerites, I think,
and heavy with gray crochet.)
Somebody embroidered the doily.
Somebody waters the plant,
or oils it, maybe.  Somebody
arranges the rows of cans
so that they softly say:
ESSO--SO--SO--SO
to high-strung automobiles.
Somebody loves us all.

     -Elizabeth Bishop

No comments:

Post a Comment