Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979 ) is an American poet known for her descriptive style of writing. The fish is a poem that presents the innate conflicts of the poet before releasing the fish from the hook. Elizabeth Bishop focused on the themes of the problems of the working class, the natural world, loneliness, and femineity. Sylvia Plath’s Mirror is a poem that narrates the theme of loneliness. In this poem, the poet herself is the fisherwoman. She caught a fish. She described that the fish never fought with her. She outlined the fish that its brown skin hung in strips like ancient wallpaper. Bishop who was also a good painter uses this metaphor to indicate the struggles made by the fish for its survival in the past.
She further explains the physical features of the fish. Poet’s feelings then shifted from interest to admiration. She finds the signs of a fight made under the sea, through the scars left by fishing hooks.
The poet continues her observation and she finds a boat. Readers can understand how closely she observed the surroundings. She writes, ” I stared and stared.” Bishop narrates about the oil surrounded by the boat engine. Oil on the water creates rainbows and the poet realizes how colorful nature is. She could feel the mix of colors in the sunlight also.
Bishop decides to leave the fish freely by admiring its life struggles. The rainbow symbolizes new hope. It also represents the various colors floated on the fish. She leaves the fish with the hope that it can continue its fights with more strength. The Poet found herself in the fish by recollecting how she survived the struggling days of her life.
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