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In Elizabeth Bishop's bizarre, sly, deceptively plainspoken late poem "Crusoe in England," the famous solitary looks back on his life near its end, recalling his isolation and rescue in ways deeper and more unsettling than Defoe could have dreamed. After painting the hallucinatory, vivid island, with hissing volcanoes and hissing giant turtles--an unforgettable terrain--Bishop's Crusoe muses on the dried-out, wan relics of a life.


From The New Republic (1979)