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In The Waiting Room Elizabeth Bishop

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The poem,“In the Waiting Room” shown within Elizabeth Bishop’s book The Complete Poems 1927-1979 is an engaging and descriptive poem about a child’s self-coming into adulthood. Elizabeth, the child, narrates the story from her point of view, reading the National Geographic while waiting for Aunt Consuelo to be finished with her appointment. The National Geographic however, is a gateway which portrays Elizabeth’s adult side, showing her as a child what is to come as she grows older. Aunt Consuelo and those within the waiting room during the time when Elizabeth looks around adds on to this point, making her ask more questions about her own name, as well as her becoming like her Aunt. Which started with her picking up and flipping through, the yellow margins of the National Geographic.

The idea behind the book National Geographic is to transport the reader into a location that they have not been too. For this poem however, it transports Elizabeth to her being an adult. Showing her what is to come with adulthood, “Babies with pointed heads wound round and round with string; black, naked women with necks wound round and round with wire like the necks of light bulbs. Their breasts were horrifying” (26-31) Elizabeth is horrified with what she sees as clearly stated, she does not wish to become an adult. To be given these breasts, or even the experience of a child. But since she was too scared to stop she kept reading till she heard her Aunt.

Continuing further within the
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