Essay on Analysis Of The Poem ' Bishop '

735 Words Oct 14th, 2015 3 Pages
While people usually look for the meaning in the poem first, Bishop obviously means to buck that trend by naming her poem Sestina. True to its name the poem follows that exact form of a sestina. The sestina is a poem divided into seven stanzas: six sestets and then a three-lined envoi. Every line in each of these sestet ends with a different one the words house, grandmother, child, stove, almanac, and tears. Here, Bishop follows the rigid to the structure to the bone – tracking the word ‘house’ you can see it goes 1, 2, 4, 5, 3, 6. The structure of the sestina makes it so that the reader feels trapped; they are stuck in a cycle of the same six words. It seems to me that Bishop is playing off of this structure to put the reader in the place of the grandmother. A character so old she has seen the natural repetition of the world. However before understanding how the skeleton of the sestina affects the poems reading, we must ground ourselves in the poems themes. Sestina serves as an autobiographical poem for Bishop and this is important to understanding the antecedent scenario. At this point in Bishop’s life she is already living with her grandmother, which means that her father must have already died, and that her mother must have been institutionalized. This is represented in the man that the child in the poem draws. Here we see that there is a distinction in the young child and the elder grandmother. The child is happy about her drawing and she ‘proudly’ shows it to her…

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