A Miracle For Breakfast Poem Analysis

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Elizabeth Bishop was born in Worcester, Massachusetts on February 8, 1911 – two decades before the Great Depression. She was the only child in the family, and her father passed away even before she turned a year old. Soon after, her mother was brought to a mental hospital. Bishop grew up not knowing her parents well and transferring from one household to another – from her maternal grandparents, to her paternal grandparents and back to her mother’s family. During the time of the Great Depression, she wrote the poem “A Miracle for Breakfast.” “A Miracle for Breakfast” takes place in a big area close to a river, with a beautiful villa that has a balcony. It was probably just the beginning of spring, as it was said to be a cold day, yet no mention of frost, snow or ice was made. The persona’s narration begins in the morning, a little before sunrise at six o’clock. This is evident when he or she describes the area as “still dark” and personifies the sun as he or she says it is still “steadying itself on a long ripple…show more content…
Aside from this, there is a constant repetition of the last words of every line all throughout the poem, which complicates its form. In the poem, the repetition of the last words follows this format: ABCDEF, FAEBDC, CFDABE, ECBFAD, DEACFB, BDFECA, ECA/ACE. The last three lines or the envoi must also contain the other three words within the three lines, in order to make all the words repeat throughout the entire poem. In “A Miracle for Breakfast,” these end words are: coffee, crumb, balcony, miracle, sun and river. Aside from the novelty of using the poetic form, the sestina may have also been used in order to reiterate the importance of those words in delivering the message of the poem, that of which will further be discussed through the course of this
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