What Is The Theme In Sestina

Decent Essays
Hidden between the thirty-nine lines of Sestina, lay some major themes in literature. Even when the “September rain falls” and in the “failing light”, the house is still a secure and warm place. But where is this sense of comfort in Sestina? It appears that even though both the grandmother and the child are in the “chilly” house, they are far apart from each other. She “busies herself” and tries to hide her emotions while it draws in the other end of the kitchen. The grandmother’s actions create a sense of secrecy and hint that she hides something. Despite the brief moments of contact when showing the picture the child drew, the two characters are mentally immersed in their own worlds. Another Bishop’s poem that deals with the theme of home…show more content…
In Sestina, contrary to the archetypal notion, the people in the home are distanced from each other. The reader might wonder if the man from the child’s picture is the reason for the current atmosphere or if it is the weather. Bishop does not directly reveal the source of misfortune that bothers the grandmother, but she suggests the change as possible one. The theme of change raises some huge and very significant questions. Is it the change of the season that saddens the grandmother? Or is it the lack of change? As a poor farmer, the grandmother associates the coming of winter with hardship. It might be very hard for her to take care of the child with the limited financial resources that she possesses. On the other hand, the grandmother might be disappointed by the cyclicality of time. It might be the case that the same “equinoctial tears”, “foretold by the almanac”, appear every year. However, it might be both - the grandmother is miserable because she depends on the weather but she cannot change it and the same situation repeats again and again, just as the end words of every six lines in a stanza. The theme of change in Squatter’s children is observed in a very similar…show more content…
She successfully creates a mournful tone by putting “tears” as one of the six final words. The mood is led by feelings of sadness and sorrow. However, the reader does not know why. Bishop keeps this sense of secrecy by revealing the grief but not the reason behind it. She uses visual imagery to establish a simple, falsely harmonic domestic scene. The tension in the house is hidden behind the silence in it. Bishop personifies the objects in the house to break it. Furthermore, the words of the objects might clarify what is the reason for the grandmother’s mood: “It was to be. Says the Marvel Stove. I know what I know, says the almanac.” Apparently, something predetermined has happened which relates to the theme of change, discussed in the previous section. This theme is closely related to the role of the almanac. Its function is to predict the weather for the next year. Additionally, its importance in the poem shows the role of the weather in the grandmother’s life. The hanging almanac is associated with a bird using the simile “birdlike”. The anaphora “hovers” suggests that it has control over the child and the grandmother. Again, with the use of vivid language, Bishops includes the almanac in the scene: “the little moons fall down like tears/ from between the pages of the almanac”. The moons which resemble tears add up to the sense of sadness in the poem. Additionally, the
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