Elizabeth Bishop - Language essay

1124 Words Mar 9th, 2014 5 Pages
“Bishop’s carefully judged use of language aids the reader to uncover the intensity of feeling in her poetry.” To what extent do you agree or disagree with the above statement? Support your answer with reference to the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop on your course.

Elizabeth Bishop’s use of language in her poems has allowed readers to grasp a better understanding of feeling in her poetry. During the beginning of Bishop’s career, she was often referred to as a ‘miniaturist’. Her concentration on minor details aided readers in building mental images while reading her poems. By focusing deeply on the description of images, it became easier for readers to understand the emotion and intensity of each line. Often times, Bishop
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The fish that Bishop had caught, observed, and later wrote about in this poem. When analyzing poetry, it is important to attempt to merge ones imagination with that of the writers. In this instance, Elizabeth Bishop allows us to effortlessly imagine and feel the emotion of that particular moment. Further in the poem, Bishop makes mention of the eyes belonging to the immense creature.

“I looked into his eyes which were far larger than mine but shallower, and yellowed, the irises backed and packed with tarnished tinfoil seen through the lenses of old scratched isinglass.”

The vivid, carefully selected words reinforce the feeling of the quote and aid the reader in understanding the emotion of the lines. Bishop’s selective vocabulary within her poems may be the result of the hidden emotions she felt while writing them. This is apparent in “First Death in Nova Scotia”. Her clear recollection of the feelings she experienced during her younger cousin’s funeral, may be her reasoning for the choice of diction in the poem. The poem begins as Bishop is taken into the parlor where her cousin, Arthur, is being laid out. There is reference to a stuffed loon, shot and killed by