The poems of Elizabeth bishop Essay Sample
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The poems of Elizabeth bishop Essay Sample
When I first read the poems of Elizabeth bishop I was struck by her realistic but personal perspective on life, the most interesting is the fact that she writes like life and the world have always had it out for her. Nature, love and her troubled past were always visible in her poetry. Combine her honesty and the quirky images provide by bishop’s description you end up with a poet who is very interesting to read into.
Bishop is a penetrating and honest observer; her style of writing is one which really delves deep into the image. She uses an exact, illustrative style to communicate her vision throughout her thought process, it almost leads to a sort of writing with no filter.
This is especially obvious throughout her images in “The Fish” such as her description of the eyes “Packed with tarnished tinfoil” it is something some of us would compare but would almost think it was too ridiculous and push it out of our minds, but as I now know how effective this imagery is I now understand why bishop is such a great poet, it is because she breaks the boundaries of what is thought to be normal, Bishops uses of metaphors is prevalent all through her poetry. I found that it is most effective in this segment as it really is quite a unique image that’s broadcasted.
Bishop is an intense observer as she goes to great lengths to bring her experience alive for the reader. One way in which she does this is through the sensory images that we see in the prodigal. “the sty was plastered halfway with glass smooth dung” this description really makes you understand the way the pigsty looked as you understand how bad it must smell with the dung and the pure putrid feel of the smooth dung on the wall.
Throughout the prodigal you are faced with vivid details of awful living conditions emphasised by the quote above. Bishop appeals to the sense to the senses in nearly all her poems but the best example I can think of is when she demands the sense of touch with her beautiful descriptive description of the mountain tops, “the mountains looked like the hulls of capsized ships, slime hung and barnacled” this eye-catching imagery really draws the eye as it you skim over as you must think about this image for a second before you can fully comprehend it.
Another extract where I think that bishop is portrayed as a concentrated observer is in the poem sestina, where granting the fact that she is technically not writing from a first-person perspective she still manages it through the quote “Bird like the almanac hovers over the child” this image is something that has most likely an excerpt from her childhood makes you wonder how does her mind operate to still remember the smallest detail such as the almanac
Although some might say it is inaccurate to say Bishop is a poet who only uses the sense to bring you to a full understanding of her poetry as she also meditates on experience in a way that offer a very personal and valuable insight into her humanity. This is demonstrated through both Questions of travel and The Filling Station. She can be seen meditating on experience in questions of travel when she says, “yes a pity not to have pondered blurr’dly and inconclusively” this is an example of her thinking on experiences that happened in the past almost meditating on them to really understand what had happened, this is demonstrated with her personal view in this poem.
The meditation of humanity is, as she gives us an insight of her opinion of humanity with the comment “oh but its dirty”. This demonstrate the unpleasantness of this old dirty filling station in her eyes. Where in filling station it can be seen nearly throughout the poem detailed descriptive nature on deeper concerns enhance bishop’s ability to faithfully recollect memory’s, and past events. In my opinion bishop’s best poem out of what we have studied is “The Fish” as it was truly told in first person. This poem gives us an insight
Powerful and evocative are two words that could be used to described bishop’s poetry, she conveys the confusion as a child in such a way that reminds the reader of their past and invites them to meditate on the experience of life and death in a very tangible way. This idea is displayed in both “Sestina” and “First Death in Nova Scotia” but I find it to be more unmistakeable in “First Death in Nova Scotia” as she writes from a child’s perspective.
She writes about how her mother simply told it as if Arthur was leaving with \”Come,\” said my mother, \”Come and say good-bye to your little cousin Arthur.\” This is a feeling that everyone knows if they lost someone when they were young, only to realise now that they were being patronised. Her emphasis on the surroundings in the house give the poem an eeriness of sorts with loon “his eyes were red glass” especially adding only more unnerving sensation of this poem
Bishop as a poet is an intense observer who has quite a persuasive observation of everyday life, she makes it clear that her observation is intense throughout six poems that we studied. Bishops describes the sense that we feel in an inimitable way by simply meditating on her experience of death and life in a very real way, she simply does not hold back any views she has had whether it was as a child or as a mature adult