Words of Wisdom:

"Pride is the sign of a foolish man" stephen graham XZIBIT" - Whytee


  • Date Submitted: 05/17/2013 11:32 AM
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“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.

Elizabeth Bishops poetry has many aspects that make it appealing to the modern reader. Bishop is largely concerned with everyday objects, and many of her poems, such as 'The Fish' and 'Filling Station', through close observation and detailed description, culminate in a moment of insight, leading her to a greater understanding of both the subject of the poem, and human nature itself. Her celebration of these objects gives them powerful significance, allowing the modern reader to see the world in a new light.
Another reason that Bishop appeals to modern readers is her wide range of themes and moods, dealing with appealing topics such as mans triumph over adversity, the indomitable nature of the human spirit, travel and beauty in nature, along with topics such as death, alcoholism and the sense of homelessness experienced by Bishop herself, and though these themes are not appealing in themselves, the poems are thought-provoking and meaningful. Regardless of when these poems were written the subjects addressed are still pertinent today, giving them a sense of timelessness. The wide variety of themes in Bishops poetry makes each Bishop poem original and of worth in its own right.
Many of Bishops poems, such as 'First Death in Nova Scotia' and 'Questions of Travel', link with her own life; a depressing but interesting one, which saw a troubled childhood and many countries. This gives her poems a sense of credibility, relatablitiy and humanness, qualities which entice modern readers, as perhaps they can see an element of themselves in Bishop, and identify with her struggles.
Finally, Bishops combination of vivid imagery and intense language add to her unique style, making them enjoyable to read and her use of language, while subtle, has a huge impact on the reader. Bishop's poetry...


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