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The Fish

Elizabeth Bishop

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i think
Added by: padraig reardon
i think that the line she crys out "rainbow,rainbow,rainbow!" is to explain nature and how wonderfull and cruel it can be the black convays evil and pollution.The yellows and the lime suggest life and we all depend on one thing which would be land and water alike.
Added by: Jessica
Sometimes I wonder about the sanity of some poets but when tought about harder it's amazing what emotions and memories you can tie to something that seems to have nothing to do with the poem but everything to do with you're life, it is a wonderfully opening poem
Added by: Bob
It's about the sanctity of life and respect for experience and age -- hooks and leder hanging from its mouth are vecissitudes survived.
the fish
Added by: kimmie
i just read this in english class this week and i must say that this is the most boring poem. i cant stand poems that sound like they were written from a thesaurus.
Added by: lizzie beth
I like this poem because like afore mentioned, it can directly relate to your life. The fish fights so hard (5 times) to stay alive and then finally gives up after he's old and can't take any more. My father had an aneurysm that he lived with for 18 years and never burst. when doctors finally removed it, he lay in a coma for 9 months, even battled pneumonia, before giving out to a simple fever. He tried so hard to get back to my family but his immune system couldn't take it any longer. This poem takes a simple fish and turns it into a different situation all together for me and i applaud the author for making us think.
the sun-cracked thwarts, the oarlocks on their str
Added by: dylan
I like the aggressive sound of some of the lines & phrases in this poem: the line quoted above; "he hung a grunting weight" "backed and packed" -- and the hidden pentameters (broken by a line-break, as in the lines quoted above and : "He didn't fight. He hadn't fought at all.")

Rhythmically & formally quite secure, & that's not always the case with Bishop. Have fun with this poems: look for alliterations, internal rhymes, percussive assonances. Examine it as sound, and you just might enjoy it.
deserving respect without fighting
Added by: joni
I think it is interesting that the fish is seen as "venerable" even though he didn't put up a fight at all. She later sees he has taken on the task of fighting five times in the past, and with the description of his body you get the sense that maybe he is just tired of all the fighting against the inevitable, death. He will be consumed by something in the end so why bother fighting at all anymore. This fish has been around for so long and has won so many battles that he decides to finally surrender and in that moment, the fisher cannot claim the fish. Like it wasn't a far fight and in that the fish still claims victory over the fisher and lives to swim another day.
Added by: jgdittier
There is much to think about in the content here, as is indicated by the esthute outside comments.
I can imagine how much more impact this deep piece would carry were it written in established rhyme and meter.
Added by: Dave Shackelford
I think that "rainbows, rainbows, rainbows" mights suggest that her eyes teared up and the whole bright scene was changed when viewed through her tears.
Added by: Neil
"Until everything was Rainbow,Rainbow, Rainbow"

This poem is so distinctly feminine, and at the same time so overpowering and so strong, moving and touching.

On reading it we are left with a deep sense of admiration for the "venerable" fish, and we get to share and experience Elizabeth Bishop's Joy.

We should thank her for being so brave and opening up to us.

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