Analysis about Elizabeth Bishop’s Sestina
Elizabeth Bishop is one of the most important poets in 20th century in United States. Raised in a poor childhood and deeply influenced, she wrote poems mysterious as well as profound. Instead of useless self-obsession or empty emotions, she focuses on the precise description about objective world and the reflection of the meaning of life, mapping a cruel but real world in her works. Sestina is one of Elizabeth’s old-age poems, where she talked about the root of her homeless feeling. And from the very moment, she gradually realized that the home of her childhood had gone forever, and could not be replaced by anything else. In her poem "Sestina", Elizabeth Bishop constructed a haunting picture of the interactions between a grandmother and a granddaughter on a gloomy autumn evening. The poem epitomizes the way that family members share long-buried and unarticulated sorrows, simultaneously hiding and revealing what they know of themselves and of each other. The title, "Sestina," appears to simply identify the poetic form that Bishop chose for her story: the sestina is a complex, interwoven structure of six stanzas, wherein six end-words repeat themselves in a set pattern. Reading this poem, however, we do not experience it as a display of cold or abstract mechanics. Instead, it is raw and deeply emotional, for all that the empirical details of the underlying sorrow (what it is actually "about") are concealed from the reader. We "understand" the sadness without "knowing" its source. Stanza 1 begins in a domestic scene as a grandmother reads jokes from an almanac to her granddaughter. However, grief is suggested by the Autumnal atmosphere and the “failing light “. This is made explicit by the description of the grandmother “laughing and talking to hide her tears.” Stanza 2 chronicles the grandmother’s supersticious thoughts as the almanac, she believes, “foretold” the tragedy which has engulfed the house. It is suggested...
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