In the poem, “(love song, with two goldfish)” by Grace Chua, the author describes the evolution of a young romance between two goldfish with its consequential rise and fall using imagery and metaphors. From the title we can automatically understand what the poem will be about and the parenthesis give an image of the shape of the fishbowl, creating a setting. The title is not capitalized because it is not just a statement, but is in fact part of a story that is constantly evolving and has many aspects.
Upon the first stanza, we immediately get the impression of unrequited love. In the first sentence, “he’s a drifter, always floating around her, he has nowhere else to go,” we meet the two characters, him and her, and we encounter a lot of water imagery with words such as “drifter” and “floating”. These words however give off the impression that he’s alone and would be lost without her to follow. As if she’s his everything. We get the impression though that his love for her is not returned when Chua says, “he wishes she would sing, not much, just the scales.” The reader can understand from the word “wishes” that her singing is not something often received and because he doesn’t even want her to sing much, we can infer that his attention towards her is not reciprocated. However, I do not think that the fish is necessarily bitter about the circumstances because he uses humor when he says that he wishes she would “give him the fish eye” or “sing just the scales.” Because the characters are fish, the light-hearted metaphors offset the melancholy first sentence of unrequited love.
Transitioning to the second stanza, we again see this fishbowl imagery. Just as the first stanza was in parenthesis, so is the second one, but now the reader gets the impression that the fish are in separate fishbowls when Chua says, “Bounded by rounded walls she makes fish eyes and kissy lips at him.” The word “bounded” gives the impression that she is trapped and being kept away from...
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