Although the title of this poem, (love song, with two goldfish), suggests the predictable romantic love story, the context of the poem is about how the relationship between the two goldfish ends because the male goldfish could not satisfy the female goldfish’s hunger for freedom. The increasing effect of the stanzas, which comprises the use of irony and imagery, serves to bring out the central theme of imprisonment. The quote “has nowhere else to go” shows how the two goldfish are captive within the bowl and how this is all they have known. The author uses the parentheses to represent the bowl the goldfish are imprisoned by. The use of these parentheses is used to enhance the theme of the entrapment and the lack of freedom. Since the fish are unable to escape the bowl in search possible of “a life beyond the (bowl)” the brackets symbolise the fish bowl, which the fish are imprisoned by. Every stanza in this poem is enclosed in parenthesis to further increase the effect of the symbolism and allows the theme to be more evident. The structure of this poem also slightly adds to the sum of the poem. Since this poem does not have any regular rhyme scheme, “always, has, wishes, scales, notice...eye” (1-6), “walls, eyes, darts, swallows, sinker”(7-11), etc. Where the only rhymes in the poem appears in line 12-15, “would” and “could”, “there” and “share” and (19-20)”sinks” and “drinks”. The poem also does not have a regular rhythm. This allows the poem to appear as very dull and naturalistic, at the same time it suggests the movement of the fish, travelling in the bowl with no apparent pattern. Furthermore, the use of constant enjambment, as well as caesura, “(But her love’s since/ gone belly-up. His heart sinks/ like a fish….)” (18), enhances the overall tone of nervousness and tension within the poem.
writen by George Gordon 2011