Love Song With Two Goldfish Summary

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In the poem “(love song, with two goldfish)” the love life of two individuals are portrayed as the lives of two fish. Their romance is failing as one lovers constant affection pushes the other away. In the end, one-sided love can only get them so far. The poet Grace Chua uses fish diction, strategically placed parentheses, and the symbol of the bowl in order to show how one's undying love can often leave them broken when their feelings are not reciprocated.

The poet uses diction to characterize the female lover as a fish, showing their playful, endearing nature, but also the physical limitations their love possesses. She has “scales”, “fish eyes,” and “kissy lips”(4,8,9). These are all the characteristics of a fish, making her seem unnatural and
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This is done in order to show the broken up nature of this relationship. In the first four stanzas the poet has parenthesis around each. By doing so it sections each stanza off into its own singular entity. By breaking up each stanza with this curved shape it creates a visual representation of the lines being a bowl. The shape the parenthesis make is very similar to a bowl, and breaks up the flow in between each piece. The only area where this is broken is in the last stanza. The poet highlights the lines “(the reason, she said / she wanted)” (23-24) and the line “(and he could not give)” (25) since they are each in their own set of parenthesis. Since the parenthesis represent the bowl this shows that they are each in their own bowl. This is symbolic to an end in their relationship. The only line in the poem that is out of parenthesis is “a life / beyond the / (Bowl)” (26-27-28). When imagining a “life beyond”, the poet shows how it is free of any confines or limitations. Instead of breaking free from the bowls by supporting one another, they remain sheltered
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