Abstract

This article asks how one might read Bishop’s poetry in conversation with John Donne’s and argues that Bishop’s frequent transpositions between the built, human world and the world of non-human nature can be read in the tradition of Donne’s sacred-profane transpositions. Donne, who engages in a form of sacred parody, transposes language and image between sacred and profane contexts, whereas Bishop transposes between the vocabularies of human culture and non-human nature. Using examples from Bishop’s and Donne’s work, the article demonstrates the way each explores the interanimation of perceived dualities to similarly transgressive effects.

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