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Elizabeth Bishop - Interesting Questions Raised By Bishop's Poetry

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Table of Contents

Leaving Certificate 2009: 4

Elizabeth Bishop poses interesting questions delivered by means of a unique style. 4

Do you agree with this assessment of her poetry? Your answer should focus on both themes and stylistic features. Support your points with the aid of suitable reference to the poems you have studied. 4

Leaving Certificate 2009:

Elizabeth Bishop poses interesting questions delivered by means of a unique style.

Do you agree with this assessment of her poetry? Your answer should focus on both themes and stylistic features. Support your points with the aid of suitable reference to the poems you have studied.

The poems by Elizabeth Bishop on our course reveal many of the most striking characteristics of her work: her eye for detail, interest in travel and different places, apparently conversational tone, command of internal rhyme, use of repetition, interest in strict poetic forms (the sonnet and the sestina), childhood memories, identity, loss, all of which serve to pose interesting questions about life and what it means to live.

The world, which Bishop describes in her poetry, is vivid and particular. She is intent on accurate description that often the detail is qualified and clarified within the poem. In Michael Schmidt’s words, ‘The voice affirms, hesitates, corrects itself; the image comes clear to us as it came clear to her, a process of adjusting perception until the thing is seen. Or the feeling is released.’ 

For example, in ‘The Fish’ she tell...

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