Free «Elizabeth Bishop» UK Essay Paper
The works of Elizabeth Bishop provide enough proof of the assertion that poetry liberates. In her lifetime, the poet published 101 poems. Bishop’s literary style was exceptionally unique but many critics considered it obscure. According to information posted on Poetry Foundation, renowned critics such as Larry Rohter of New York Times began to appreciate the work of Elizabeth Bishop only after her death. Bishop was however, not considered a prolific writer considering the fact that she took a long time before publishing any of her poems. She was considered to more or less present her human experiences on the sense of belonging, grief, and longing through her poems. Most importantly, she is considered one of the few poets that managed to nurture and develop her own style of composition through which she described the physical world. This paper presents a detailed analysis of three of Elizabeth Bishop’s poems that include One Art, Crusoe in England, and Filling Station. The objective of this analysis is to peek into the techniques and poetic devices that Elizabeth Bishop applied in her composition, presentation, and writing as well as reflecting on the major thematic areas that she addressed.
The One Art is a one of Bishop’s poems that is widely read and recited across the world. In this poem, Elizabeth Bishop communicates powerfully about loss. In the first line of the poem, the poet indicates that the art of losing is not hard to master. Reading through the rest of the poem and reflecting on the first line gives the perception that the poet was grieving from the loss of important elements of her life. The she grieved form lost love, home, and broken relations. The poem is covered in a tone of despair that is presented through symbolism. For instance, the poet began by describing how the loss of small items such as keys and a few hours during the day. The losses of the small things seemed to prepae one for the loss of great things such as the lost mother’s watch and relations. To symbolize just how much one was likely to lose, the poet mentions the loss of rivers and continents. The mention of rivers and continents represents a hyperbole. In essence, the mention of the rivers and continents in the poem was meant to symbolically prepare the audience for what the persona in the poem had lost to warrant her statements. The mention of the line ‘even losing you’ in the first line of the last stanza indicates that lost love was all she was addressing in the poem (Bishop 16). This loss also shaped the idea of personification of things such as love, keys, watches, continents, rivers, and cities in the second line of the poem where the poet indicated that these things are filled with intent to be lost.
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The second poem in this analysis is the Filling Station that is one of the most obscure poems composed by Elizabeth Bishop. There are several techniques and poetic devices used by the poet in this poem. These include the poetic use of metaphorical language, alliteration, and rhyme. One of the most evident metaphors used in the poem is the mention of the oil-soaked monkey suit. This has been used to describe the overalls used by the father and the sons in the filling station. The poet repeatedly uses words with sounds that are closely related but meanings are different. These include words like shadows and shallows. On the creation of rhyme, Elizabeth Bishop poetically used the ending sound ‘y’ in words such as oil, doily, and dirty to create rhyme and at the same time creating rhythm in the poem. Additionally, there is the use of a rhetorical questions in the poem with a good example being ‘Why, oh why, the doily?’ (Bishop 30). The use of this rhetorical question and the repetition in it does not only help in creating rhyme in the poem but also helps the audience in questioning the theme addressed by the poeet. In the last stanza of the poem, the poet answered the question and in the last line, she presented her thoughts about the doily and its association with love that is why she said, “Somebody loves us all.” (Bishop 41). From the analysis of the poem, the poet indicated her view of the physical world by presenting what the world sees of the greasy fathers and sons who work so hard to make their families happy by explaining that all that was done because of love.
The last poem analyzed herein is Crusoe in England. From the title, the poem presents the idea of a solitary life and this perception about the theme of the poem is embellished by the description of the creation of a new island. The mention of the eruption and the creation of an island is symbolic of the life that the person led which involved a lonely and isolated life full of troublesome eruptions. While the world saw the newly erupted volcano, the persona saw fifty-two other volcanoes that represented the problems that he went through. The persona stood on one of the fifty-two volcanoes and looked down to the others. He heard the hissing of turtles and tortoises indicating the poet’s attention to sounds. The poet also mentioned the issue of despair where a geographical allusion to Mount Despair indicates the central tone in the poem; that of desperation. In other words, the poet combined the wordplay and symbolism to communicate about the voyager’s problems and desperation in an isolated environment.
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In conclusion, this paper addressed the analysis of three poems composed by Elizabeth Bishop. Elizabeth Bishop published 101 poems in her lifetime. Three among those poems include One Art, Crusoe in England, and Filling Station. While some critics indicated that most of her work was obscure, deeper analysis of Bishop’s poems indicates a unique poetry style through which she addressed many issues in the physical world.
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