Poetry Study Notes - Elizabeth Bishop
Notes for students on the poems of Elizabeth Bishop. Includes 'Sestina', "At the Fishhouses', The Prodigal', 'The Fish', "Filling Station'' 'First Death In Nova Scotia' and 'The Bight'. More
Each of the essays in this book is a close reading of the poem.
These notes are designed to help you, but you must not be a slave to them. Remember, no one reading of a poem is definitive. Poems are not puzzles to be cracked. What you are required to do when you write about poetry is to arrive at a genuine and individual personal response to something which is carefully crafted in language.
Poets are masters of language. They choose words more deliberately and consciously than is usual. After all, language is their craft. However, although we cannot all be poets, it is important to realize that what poets do is not alien to us. We are all immersed in language. We all experience the world in language. We all seek self-expression. To express exactly what you mean is not always easy (just as poetry is not always easy), but it is always satisfying and rewarding.