"Accuracy, Spontaneity, Mystery."
These are the three qualities Elizabeth Bishop admired in the poetry she liked best, according to her essay, "Writing poetry is an unnatural act…" (702) from the collection Elizabeth Bishop: Poems, Prose and Letters (Library of America).
I like thinking about these. Some of my own definitions:
Accuracy—can be precise description, but also the capturing and embodiment of emotion.
Spontaneity—the poem is alive and jumps off the page; fresh words are chosen; words stitched together in new ways.
Mystery—leaves you with a sense of something beyond you, just out of your reach, something you desire.
Time to look over my files and see if these are there.
Bishop was known as a poet and writer of short stories and essays,
but she also painted intimate images on paper.
More about her (written in 2012, the centenary of her birth) in this post.