Brad M. Rader
English 1100 Section 124
Dr. Gene Miller
March 10, 2000
Poems to me are an expression of a person?s outlook on a particular scene or subject. By reading a poem a person can be enlightened and take an understanding of what they are actually reading. In ?The Fish?, I personally was caught up in all the excitement because I know what it feels like to catch a really gigantic fish. This poem, to me, shows an outlook on nature that I have always been accustomed to. In writing poems there is a whole category of tools and techniques you can use to make the poem great instead of mediocre. In this poem, to me imagery plays a very big role. When you read the poem the imagery lets you not only think about what you are reading but also it lets you actually see it in your head. Another tool used in the poem is personification. It can help the author do so much more explaining than the usual. Personification in this poem is just as important as the use of imagery is. Also, the ideas/themes of this poem are very crucial as well to make it a very good poem. When Elizabeth Bishop put all of these tools together she made ?The Fish? what it is today, a great poem.
When Bishop uses lines like this the imagery is shown very well. ?Here and there his brown skin hung in strips like ancient wallpaper.? That line just makes you see the fish?s brown skin and how it is hanging like ancient wallpaper. Another line Bishop uses is when she is talking about the fish?s skin and describes it as shapes like full-brown roses. The imagery in a poem just gives it so much more meaning and such a better advantage over poems that do not have any imagery in them. Everybody has read something and it did not make any sense at all. Imagery allows the reader to read the poem and not get confused about what the author is trying to get across to the reader. So, the importance of imagery is important not only in poetry but also in other types of writing as well.
Another tool that Bishop uses in ?The Fish? is personification. Personification is giving human characteristics to something that is not human. It lets us understand what is being written better because we can relate it to ourselves and things we do and see in our own lives. A couple examples are: a five-haired beard of wisdom trailing from his aching jaw?like medals with their ribbons frayed and wavering.
In the first example, the personification is the use of the word ?beard.? To us only men have beards on their faces. But it helps the reader get a picture in their head of what is trying to be described.
Also, in the second example the personification is where Bishop talks about the ribbons. To us only people get ribbons for things they do. We do not think of fish having and wearing ribbons. But it lets us see and understand in a better and more effective way. Which is what the author wants from us anyway.
Last of all the ideas/themes of the poem are important and should not be left out. The ideas and themes that go through my head when I read the poem are things like ?I want to go out and catch a really tremendous fish? and ?do not underestimate anything until you have gave it a good analysis. The ideas and themes are not really as important to me in this poem. But on the other hand they could be the most important tools in another poem. It really has to do with what the poem is about and what the author is aiming to do or accomplish with the poem.
I really enjoyed reading ?The Fish.? It is really a poem that will stick out in my mind for a long time. I think that the tools that Bishop used makes the poem more likable and suitable for me to enjoy. Imagery, personification, and ideas/themes really make this poem stick out above the rest in the category. If you want to read a really good poem that makes good sense then read ?The Fish!?