Behaviour of Fish in an Egyptian Tea Garden Commentary

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“Behaviour of Fish in an Egyptian Tea Garden”
In the poem “Behaviour of Fish in an Egyptian Tea Garden” by Keith Douglas, a beautiful woman uses the power of seduction to attract many men. Douglas uses simile to describe the woman as a “white stone” while calling men different types of fish like “magnate, an important fish” and “flat-eyed fish”. Throughout the whole poem, Douglas seems to use the word “fish” many times. It seems he is describing the environment as an aquatic environment. Since it is third person limited, the reader does not know what the males are thinking, but using imagery the reader can know how they look at her and it is clear that the males are attracted to her.

The poem contains seven stanzas with four lines in each stanza. It is a narrative poem because it has a plot about a beautiful woman trying to use her ways of seduction, but the men are too threatened of it and they soon run off. There is no rhyming scheme although there are some rhymes like “afternoon” and “spoon”. Each stanza does not have rhyming endings, only four out of seven stanzas have a rhyming scheme. An interested thing that the readers might notice is that each line has about nine or ten syllables.

In stanza one, Douglas introduces the woman as a “white stone” and she “draws down the fish” (L.1). The first line describes the woman’s beauty and how it attracts the attention of all of the men in the room. The woman is most likely sitting and trying to look beautiful so all the men would want her. The woman “Draws down men’s glances and their cruel wish for love.” (Line 3) The woman is not doing anything and yet she has already done so much. Not only did she make the men look at her, but it seems they are also thinking about her and how they want to be with her.

In stanza two, the reader learns about the woman’s way of seduction. “Slyly her red lip on the spoon/ slips in a morsel of the ice cream” (L.4, 5). Most men have a dirty mind, so when she put that spoon...
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