Elizabeth Bishop - The Appeal Of Bishop's Poetry For Modern Readers

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Leaving Certificate 2002: 4

The poetry of Elizabeth Bishop appeals to the modern reader for many reasons. 4

Write an essay in which you outline the reasons why poems by Elizabeth Bishop have this appeal. 4

Leaving Certificate 2002:

The poetry of Elizabeth Bishop appeals to the modern reader for many reasons.

Write an essay in which you outline the reasons why poems by Elizabeth Bishop have this appeal.

It is not surprising that Bishop's poetry appeals to the modern reader; her life was modern and unconventional, and she only died in 1979. She was also an exceptionally well-travelled woman who experienced the world in all its vastness and diversity. I think the vastness and diversity of the world and its people are evident in her work, and all of this is very appealing to the modern reader.

'Questions of Travel' is particularly appealing. In contemporary western society, global travel has never been easier, and in social circles it is almost mandatory, thus 'Questions of Travel' is very relevant to modern life. We take it for granted that travel broadens the mind, builds character, is an education in itself, etc., but this poem questions our urge to travel, and modern society’s insistence that we should: 'What childishness is it that while there's a breath of life/in our bodies, we are determined to rush/to see the sun the other way around?’

In this poem, Bishop portrays the ‘travel’ bug as a kind of madness; the traveller seems ridiculous, his goal pointless, ...

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