you still hang your words in air, ten years
unfinished, glued to your notice boards, with gaps
or empties for the unimaginable phrase —
unerring Muse who makes the casual perfect?
You left North Haven, anchored in its rock,
afloat in mystic blue ... And now — you've left
for good. You can't derange, or re-arrange,
poems again. (But the sparrows can their song.)
The words won't change again. Sad friend, you cannot change.
Words in Air, correspondence between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell