The Kingfisher Poem Analysis

1516 Words7 Pages
She has a “virtuoso command of vocabulary, a gift for playing the English language like a musical instrument and a startling and delightful ability to create metaphor;” her work is characterized by “baroque profusion, the romance of the adjective, labyrinthine syntax, a festival lexicon” (“Amy Clampitt”). These quotes from Alfred Corn and Richard Tillinghast in the New York Times Book Review give a brief but certainly painted glimpse into the works of the 20th century poet Amy Clampitt (“Amy Clampitt”). While she didn’t receive significant recognition until her later years of life, Clampitt emerged as one of the most regarded poets of her era due to her alluring integration of imaginative diction, crafted syntax, and symbolic richness, all…show more content…
In the first stanza, she describes the nightingales as being “loud”, which is odd and even off-putting since nightingales are known for their beautiful songs (The Kingfisher). Immediately following this, she says that the peacocks are “screaming”, and again she uses “scream” in reference to the noise made by the bellbird in stanza three (The Kingfisher). In Reisman’s analysis of Clampitt’s piece, she concludes that these sounds are used to symbolize human pain (Canfield Reisman, Rosemary M.). In the second stanza of the same poem, a kite is mentioned in reference to the “hauling down” of “the Firebird” (The Kingfisher). The couple in the poem is experiencing a quarrel, and the kite, a fairly feeble object, is said to be “flown for as long as the wind is favorable” and represents the fact that human love tends to be conditional (Canfield Reisman, Rosemary M.). Additionally, there’s various components within “The Kingfisher” that symbolize death and destruction. The couple passes through a nunnery that’s in ruins and even meets in a cemetery later on. Clampitt mentions the passing of the poet Dylan Thomas, which occured in the same city that the couple meets in stanza four. It seems odd that all of these death-oriented details are mentioned, but they all point towards the “cataclysm” of the couple’s relationship (The
Open Document