Elizabeth Bishop’s Poem Anaphora, and the song Morning of the Dragon from the musical Miss Saigon are very similar in their imagery. With both you can see the stunning images that are portrayed in words. “Breathing a sheet of flame it came”
Each day with so much ceremony begins, with birds, with bells, with whistles from a factory;” You can see this dragon breathing a sheet of flame, just as you can see the morning Bishop is describing with the birds singing and the bells ringing.
I love musicals because so much has to be portrayed in the words of the songs; you see the story in the words that are written. It is that way with Bishop’s poetry, you see what she sees and you feel what she is feeling as she is writing.


Anaphora
Each day with so much ceremony
begins, with birds, with bells,204741805_5cbedcbcda.jpg
with whistles from a factory;
such white-gold skies our eyes
first open on, such brilliant walls


that for a moment we wonder
"Where is the music coming from, the energy?
The day was meant for what ineffable creature
we must have missed?" Oh promptly he
appears and takes his earthly nature
instantly, instantly falls
victim of long intrigue,
assuming memory and mortal
mortal fatigue.

More slowly falling into sightamsterdam_1102884300_duomo.jpg
and showering into stippled faces,
darkening, condensing all his light;
in spite of all the dreaming
squandered upon him with that look,
suffers our uses and abuses,
sinks through the drift of bodies,
sinks through the drift of vlasses
to evening to the beggar in the park
who, weary, without lamp or book
prepares stupendous studies:
the fiery event
of every day in endless
endless assent

The Morning of the Dragon
[FIRST GROUP]
On silent feet it came
Breathing a sheet of flame, it came
Closing it on its rightful prey
Burning a hundred years away
The Morning of the Dragon200561418-001.jpg
Truth up the street
The tiger we were stalking
Walked on paper feet
And in the clear white heat
Of dawn
Was gone

[FIRST GROUP]
From every door they came
These children born of war, they came

[SECOND GROUP]
Victory

[FIRST GROUP]
Sharing a secret word which they
Waited a hundred years to say

[SECOND GROUP]
The morning of
the dragon
All the walls
fell down

[FIRST GROUP]
The Morning of the Dragon
Truth lit up the street

[SECOND GROUP]
Brother greeted brother
In a sudden light

[FIRST GROUP]
The tiger we were stalking
Walked on paper feet
And in the clear white heat of dawn
It's gone

[SECOND GROUP]
And the endless night heat of dawn
Was gone

[THIRD GROUP]
(as groups one and two repeat ON SILENT FEET IT CAME.../ VICTORY...)

May all our children learn
The tide of right will turn
Giants fall, tigers burn
Someday with the dawn
They're gone