Elizabeth Bishop

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Elizabeth Bishop, "In the Waiting Room" (582-584)

First and second impressions
My first impression is that this poem sounds different than some of the others that are in the book by Elizabeth Bishop. I thought that her choice of words became simplified for this poem. The wording was clear, and direct, you knew who the speaker was, where she was, and why she was there within I the first stanza of the poem. The poem also seemed written more like a narrative story then a poem. It was easy to read because of the language that Bishop used; therefore the first time I read it through it I read it very fast.

This led me to reading it the second time. As a reader you get pulled into the poem early on; because of how bishop places the speaker in the scenery of the waiting room. What this accomplishes is a connection, between you the reader and the speaker. This connection that Bishop creates pulls you into the waiting as if you were there with the speaker.

This is the most perfect way to put this. I love how the speaker use her birthday as her mantra, to keep her grounded in her own false since of reality, while her head is spinning with realization that she is just like her aunt.

“I was saying it to stop
The sensation of falling off
The round, turning world
Into cold, blue-black space.”

I love how Bishop words this; because of how drawn into the speaker’s story I am at this point, it's as if she and I are one. Her story becomes my own, I know and understand how she feels at that particular moment. I just have never had the words at the moment to describe it as beautifully as Bishop does here.

I love the details that Bishop gives to this part of the poem. The speaker describes what she is 'reading' with such detail that you can see it in your imagination. The image of the speaker a small girl, sitting there in the waiting room, with the National Geographic in her lap, she's looking at a picture of a group of...
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