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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