Poem Analysis: The Fish By Elizabeth Bishop

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The Fish, by Elizabeth Bishop is a free verse structured poem that navigates readers through the writer’s vivid perception of a fish that she has just caught. The fish depicted in this writing was allegorical to one’s survival of life’s tumultuous nature that can leave one scarred and battered with harshfully visible remnants. The writer skillfully employs literary devices that create an overwhelming image in the reader’s mind of the true meaning behind the appearance of the fish. Bishop expresses through this poem that the visibly worn and scarred fish is testimony of resilience and hope. The author skillfully constructs this poem by using numerous techniques to create vivid visuals of the subject, evoke a wide range of emotions, and to relay a thought-provoking message of triumph through trials. The weary appearance and nature of the fish is made clear to readers through phrases such as “he didn’t fight”, “brown skin hung”, “infested with”, “frightening gills” and “grim, wet and weaponlike”. The extensive use of similes to creates phrases, some of which are “brown skin hung in strips like ancient wallpaper” and “coarse white flesh packed in like feathers”, creates stunning imagery. The amplification of details of the fish’s appearance creates a compelling visual that plays on the emotions of the reader. Details such as…show more content…
Her diction and thorough use of imagery create vividly clear images of the fish. Those, along with her use of other techniques, play to the human emotion in describing a fish, who much like humans, has lived a long, tumultuous life. A life that although filled with struggles, is capped with a rainbow that represent hope and ability to continue. Bishop initially thought of the fish as a prize but realizes that it is symbol of the trials and triumphs of life, and releases
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