My Account
Preview
Preview

"Sestina" by Elizabeth Bishop Essay

No Works Cited
Length: 723 words (2.1 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Yellow      
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The "Sestina" by Elizabeth Bishop

The "Sestina" by Elizabeth Bishop is titled after the verse form of the Italian origin by that name. However, the name of the poem is not only to remind us of its difficult and complex form, but also to enhance the subject of the poem- the fatal forces that navigate the character's lives. Thus, the main feature of the poetic form, the six repeating end-words, "grandmother", "child", "house", "stove", "almanac", "tears", all `work` together to underline this meaning, that the experience of the characters, as well as any other experience, "was to be."

The first end-word is "house." A house symbolizes a calm domestic life, but the rain falling on the house creates a sense of a cold atmosphere, which is strengthened by the situation of the grandmother trying to hide her tears. In the second stanza, it becomes clear that the grandmother believes all was "foretold by the almanac." The almanac represents a belief that all is determined by the stars, including the rain that falls on the house. Now the house is a part of predetermined system, and so are the grandmother and child who live in the house. By the third stanza, the speaker `joins` the grandmother's belief in the omniscient almanac by comparing the steams resulting from the heating of the water with the rain falling on the house, saying: "the teakettle's small hard tears dance like mad...the way the rain must dance on the house."

After showing how the house and the rain are a part of a determined, "foretold" system, the fourth stanza sharpens and returns the reader to his previous notion of the house symbolizing the family, as the grandmother's tears coincide with the house's "chill[iness]." In the fifth s...


... middle of paper ...


...ontrol of the tears becomes abundantly clear when the almanac decides that it's "Time to plant tears" now there is no longer any doubt regarding the course of the tears.

Just like the six end-words repeat themselves in a predetermined order, so is the world described in the poem bound to the predetermined rules of the stars represented in the almanac. And just as the poet cannot use a strict form of poetry without adhering to its predetermined laws, the poem's reality is one where all objects, animate or inanimate must adhere to the predetermined laws of the almanac. Thus Bishop uses a rigorous form that emulate a rigorous world where all, be it "equinoctial tears", rain on the roof or even a child's drawing is meant to be.

Work Cited:

The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms. Ed. M. Strand & E. Boland. New York: Norton 2001



Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper








This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Elizabeth Bishop’s “The Fish” Essay - “The Fish,” written by Elizabeth Bishop in 1946, is perhaps most known for its incredible use of imagery, but this analysis does not merely focus on imagery. Instead, it is based on a quote by Mark Doty from his essay “A Tremendous Fish.” In it he says, “‘The Fish’” is a carefully rendered model of an engaged mind at work” (Doty). After reading this statement, it causes one to reflect more in-depth about how the poem was written, and not just about what its literal meaning lays out. In “The Fish,” Bishop’s utilization of certain similes, imagery in the last few lines, narrative poem style, and use of punctuation allows the audience to transport into the life of the fish; therefore, allowing...   [tags: Literary Analysis, The Fish, Elizabeth Bishop]
:: 4 Works Cited
961 words
(2.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay on The Disaster Of The Lost in “One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop - In “One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop, she brings up lose in many different forms whether it is concrete or abstract. Her complete message though is that it is evitable that throughout our lives we will lose, but lose shouldn’t be a disaster in the end. In lines 1-15 she discusses losing items in your life whether they are concrete or abstract. What she is trying to emphasize is that lose is something we automatically do making it easy to master. She wants us to realize that losing these items isn’t a bad move on our part but merely a habit....   [tags: One Art, Elizabeth Bishop, ]
:: 1 Works Cited
736 words
(2.1 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Imagery and Diction in The Fish by Elizabeth Bishop Essay - Imagery and Diction in The Fish by Elizabeth Bishop Elizabeth Bishop's use of imagery and diction in "The Fish" is meant to support the themes of observation and the deceptive nature of surface appearance. Throughout the course of the poem these themes lead the narrator to the important realization that aging (as represented by the fish) is not a negative process, and allows for a reverie for all life. Imagery and diction are the cornerstone methods implemented by Bishop in the symbolic nature of this poem....   [tags: The Fish Elizabeth Bishop] 1255 words
(3.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Response to The Fish By Elizabeth Bishop Essay - Response to "The Fish" By Elizabeth Bishop I chose to respond to Elizabeth Bishop's "The Fish" because the poem seems so simple, yet there is much to gather from reading it. This is a narrative poem told in the first person about a woman who catches a fish on a rented boat and, after staring at him for a while, decides to throw him back. The narrator of this poem goes through a series of stages in which she is at first detached from the fish, then intrigued by him, and then finally sympathetic towards him....   [tags: Poetry Poem Fish Elizabeth Bishop Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
611 words
(1.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
The Fish by Elizabeth Bishop Essays - The Fish by Elizabeth Bishop      With fewer than fifty published poems Elizabeth Bishop is not one of the most prominent poets of our time. She is however well known for her use of imagery and her ability to convey the narrator?s emotions to the reader. In her vividly visual poem 'The Fish', the reader is exposed to a story wherein the use of language not only draws the reader into the story but causes the images to transcend the written work. In the poem, Bishop makes use of numerous literary devices such as similes, adjectives, and descriptive language....   [tags: elizabeth bishop poem poetry fish Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
885 words
(2.5 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Songs For a Colored Singer by Elizabeth Bishop Essay - "Songs For a Colored Singer" by Elizabeth Bishop      What is a song but a poem set to music. Take away the music from a good song and the rhythm of the words will create its own musical sound. “Songs For a Colored Singer”, a poem written by Elizabeth Bishop, is a song without the music. Bishop’s use of repetitive rhymes creates the lyrical, song like, structure to her poem. The voice of the song belongs to a black woman who encounters adversity throughout the poem. The sum of the elements, a black woman singing about hard times, equal one distinct style of music, namely the blues....   [tags: Colored Singer Elizabeth bishop Essays] 1380 words
(3.9 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Elizabeth Bishop's Poem Filling Station Essays - Elizabeth Bishop's Poem "Filling Station" In poetry many elements are used to bring life to a literary work. Some of these include style, structure, imagery, diction, and allusion. In Elizabeth Bishop's poem, Filling Station, the author uses them skillfully to create meaning in a story that otherwise would be banal. Her usage of expressive details supports the writing which helps the reader to imagine what the author is describing. Her style also appeals to the readers emotions and imagination to draw them into her harsh reality....   [tags: Elizabeth Bishop Filling Station Poetry Essays] 522 words
(1.5 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Mastering the Art of Losing in Elizabeth Bishop’s Poem, One Art Essay - Mastering the Art of Losing in Elizabeth Bishop’s Poem, One Art In the poem “ One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop, the act of losing is raised to the level of an art form. Losing is, according to Bishop, something not to be mastered or dreaded. However, the irony is that Bishop struggles to believe her own hypothesis-- that losing “... isn’t hard to master...” yet “... is no disaster...” ( lines 1-3). Naming the poem “ One Art” was done to show that the art of losing is one of many and loss is not to be taken as disaster or failure....   [tags: Elizabeth Bishop’s One Art] 438 words
(1.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about One Art by Elizabeth Bishop - Elizabeth Bishop’s “One Art” is a retrospective contemplation on how it should be easy to deal with losses. The poem is structured as a villanelle and, as such, has a refrain. The refrain does not change structurally but, it’s meaning changes as the poem progresses. Bishop achieved this mainly through the evolution of imagery in the villanelle which moves from superficial objects to references of places and people that are deeply personal to the speaker. The speaker’s break in her confident façade in the final stanza also contributes to the change in the refrain’s meaning as it reveals how the speaker is not so unaffected by losses....   [tags: refrain, poem,losses]
:: 2 Works Cited
1505 words
(4.3 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on Elizabeth Bishop's One Art - Considered by many as a poet for poets, Elizabeth Bishop was one of the most refined voices of the American poetry of the last century. She was known as one of the best female American poets of the contemporary period famous for her style patent with simplicity and precision. Her work was famous for disclosing the mysteries of her personal life by cleverly chosen representations. In her very-famous villanelle, “One Art,” Bishop’s tone seems relaxed at first impression, yet the reader can later feel her disguised frustration....   [tags: Literature]
:: 6 Works Cited
1280 words
(3.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]