Personal Response to Filling Station

Topics: Poetry, Alliteration, Rhyme Pages: 2 (494 words) Published: May 15, 2013
This poem is about how Elizabeth Bishop was out fishing and she caught a “tremendous fish”. She studies her catch for a while, holding it up half out of water beside the boat. The fish is old and wise looking with barnacles and algae growing on it, and it also has five fishing hooks with the lines still partially attached hanging from its jaw. The poet considered how tough this fish must be and how much he probably had to fight. She begins to respect the fish. The poem takes its final turn when the oil spillage in the boat makes a rainbow and the poet, overcome with emotion by the fish and the scene, lets the fish go. I think the theme of this poem is the connection between humans and animals. The poet catches the fish but the fish doesn’t fight, and then holds the fish out of the water for a bit still the fish doesn’t fight and ultimately lets him go. A struggle happens within the poet. She catches the fish and then she observes the fish, she notices how weak and battered the fish is. She notices five scars near his mouth where a previous struggle had occurred. She describes them as medals, she begins to respect the fish’s bravery, and she stares at him and lets him go. There are five stanzas in this poem. Bishop uses very descriptive language, the way she describes the fish “his brown skin hung in strips like ancient wallpaper, ”speckled with barnacles” ”fine rosettes of lime,”. The poet uses Alliteration to give the poem a musical quality “held him beside the boat” ”the big bones” “with tarnished tin-foil”. Bishop also uses Assonance to give the poem fluidity “here and there” “but shallower, and yellowed,” “backed and packed”. She uses simile in this poem to give us a vivid image of the fish “like ancient wallpaper” “like a big peony” “like medals with their ribbons” I found this particular line at the end of the poem striking “a five haired beard of wisdom”. The line makes me see how our past experiences make us wiser and stronger. Also how they make up our...
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