Analysis Of The Poem ' Sestina ' By Elizabeth Bishop

1603 WordsApr 11, 20177 Pages
Elizabeth Bishop, a dramatically different and thought provoking poet, brought into being a fresh and new style of poetry. Her poetry covered certain parts of her life in addition to giving the world chastised looks. In particular, “Sestina” aptly named for the stanza the poem takes form in, presents us with a haunting and austere outer look to a scene with a grandmother and her grandchild. Bishop employs imagery like tears and the theme of time to illustrate her own loss and despair by depicting two seemingly flat characters. Bishop uses small but sure language in “Sestina.” This brings a certain simplicity to the poem while also leaves the reader searching for hidden meanings. In the first stanza, the light in the kitchen is labeled as…show more content…
The teakettle’s tears from its spout are distracting the child as if there is a fascination of tears. This is understandable as much of the time when one is crying, it is a draw of attention to others.. Bishop is demonstrating the idea of personification in the teakettle by having it cry just as a human would. It is also important to note that the kettle was singing right before it began to make tears as if to say, “pay attention to me.” Bishop follows with two more personifications. One describing the rain’s need to dance upon the roof and the other describing the almanac as clever. She continues her literary device usage to liken the almanac to a bird. This is especially interesting because it lends credence to the phrases “knowledge can set you free” and “knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.” The almanac hanging half open above the child is a key line because it shows that the world like the book, is only half open to them right now. Also, that the knowledge in the almanac will be theirs to discover in due time. On line 22 the image of tears appears yet again. On this occasion, the tears are deep brown and are the form of tea in the grandmother’s teacup. To this point, it is very likely that the grandmother and grandchild were projections of Bishop’s past and present. As a child, they could be carefree and not have to fret about their life. However, as an adult Bishop had already been through many things. The biggest impact on her life being her
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