The Fish Essay

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Visual Imagery is important in poetry to help the poet express the theme of the poem. There are three types of imagery Bishop uses to express her theme. First, she uses Metaphor. Second she uses Simile, Third, and she uses Personification. The Fish poem is very full of different types of imagery and very vivid in it narrations. This poem depends on its imagery more than any other single element. The speaker alternately convinces us of the fish’s ugliness and its beauty, and in order to achieve this difficult task, she must render the scene in perfect visual detail. We are left with the impression that the fish is powerful, beautiful, terrible, alive, ancient, and formidable. In order for the fish to be all of those things, the images surrounding it must be carefully controlled. Here we see how the speaker struggles to get the image right, but also to focus on its potential for beauty. She uses several Metaphors in the poem some examples are “fine rosettes of lime…’In this metaphor, she compares the pattern on the scales of the fish to prize giving rosettes. Another example of a metaphor is line the line that states ‘everything was rainbow, rainbow, and rainbow!’ she compares colorful surface of oily water to a rainbow. There are three similes in six lines, but two of the similes are the same: The fish’s skin is compared twice to wallpaper. It is noteworthy that she compares the fish’s skin to something artificial and inanimate. The speaker seems dissatisfied with her own simile here: She repeats it and then qualifies it. Immediately after these lines, in line 17, she compares the shapes on the fish’s skin to something living (roses), but she qualifies the “full-blown roses” simile with a metaphor that compares barnacles to “fine rosettes.” It is as though she is trying to describe the fish to us by comparing it to objects we might understand, but because she finds the fish somewhat distasteful at this point in the poem, the similes aren’t quite right. As the...
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