Elizabeth Bishop Essay

1197 words - 5 pages

Elizabeth Bishop - Language essayBy reedger | Studymode.com"Bishop's carefully judged use of language aids the reader to uncover the intensity of feeling in her poetry." To what extent do you agree or disagree with the above statement? Support your answer with reference to the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop on your course. Elizabeth Bishop's use of language in her poems has allowed readers to grasp a better understanding of feeling in her poetry. During the beginning of Bishop's career, she was often referred to as a 'miniaturist'. Her concentration on minor details aided readers in building mental images while reading her poems. By focusing deeply on the description of images, it became easier ...view middle of the document...

By stating in the opening line that the fish was indeed "tremendous", the rest of the poem's images correspond with a very large fish. In the poem, Bishop writes: "Here and there his brown skin hung in strips like ancient wallpaper, and its pattern or darker brown was like wallpaper: shapes like full-blown roses stained and lost through age." From this descriptive quote, we are able to form a solid image of a large, heavy, brown scaled fish. The fish that Bishop had caught, observed, and later wrote about in this poem. When analyzing poetry, it is important to attempt to merge ones imagination with that of the writers. In this instance, Elizabeth Bishop allows us to effortlessly imagine and feel the emotion of that particular moment. Further in the poem, Bishop makes mention of the eyes belonging to the immense creature. "I looked into his eyes which were far larger than mine but shallower, and yellowed, the irises backed and packed with tarnished tinfoil seen through the lenses of old scratched isinglass." The vivid, carefully selected words reinforce the feeling of the quote and aid the reader in understanding the emotion of the lines. Bishop's selective vocabulary within her poems may be the result of the hidden emotions she felt while writing them. This is apparent in "First Death in Nova Scotia". Her clear recollection of the feelings she experienced during her younger cousin's funeral, may be her reasoning for the choice of diction in the poem. The poem begins as Bishop is taken into the parlor where her cousin, Arthur, is being laid out. There is reference to a stuffed loon, shot and killed by Arthur's father. The "red glass" eyes of the loon stood out to a younger Bishop, surrounded by mostly white. The mention of color plays a role in 'First Death in Nova Scotia', mainly the colors red and white. The analyzation of colors has taught us that red is closely linked to anger, animosity, blood, and sometimes death. While white is acknowledged as a color of innocence, purity, and light. The unofficial result of these colors combined can possibly mean an innocent death. One which Bishop finds confusing, and close to her heart. Confusing because her first presence at a funeral is that of someone younger than her, close to her heart because of the fact that Arthur was close to her age. "… and the...

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