Different Symbolic Meanings of Animals in Poems

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 5 September 2016

Different Symbolic Meanings of Animals in Poems

In the poem “The Fish” written by Elizabeth Bishop, the story of the speaker’s moment catching a large fish was narrated. It was a sort of a descriptive writing wherein the speaker is using the first person recounts his/her story and what she thought and felt in that instance of catching a fish. But looking closely to the poem while analyzing the structure, the composition and the words used, we will be able to see that Elizabeth Bishop did not write just as a description of a memorable moment in a person’s life, it has a message lying under the verses.

The speaker in the poem was describing herself while on her boat, in the middle of a particular body of water, while holding the fish that she caught in her hands, she has described the fish as “battered and venerable and homely”. In her description, any reader would see that the words she used possessed sympathy and boldness. The fish that the speaker was talking about has a shiny grey mouth which was filled with different hooks, and Bishop used this part of the poem to explicitly symbolize pain and suffering, and it is an instance for the speaker to face up to that which is by and large introverted and not seen.

But together with her highly crafted, emotionally stressed description, the speaker can be seen as an advocate of art who possess an ability to interpret this suffering or agony just by using the concept of a “five haired beard of wisdom. ” As the speaker commemorates her mastery as the only one who has been able to catch the fish and hold it her hands, the poem closed stages successfully in the company of the contradicting suggestions that creativity is brought into being by means of devastation: Bishop brought to a close, by explicitly saying that “suffering can be the impetus for the imagination”.

On the other hand, in the short story by W. D. Wethrell about a large mouth bass entitled “The Bass, the River, and Sheila Mant”, the story of a 14-year old boy and his undying infatuation that eventually turned into love for a 17-year old girl named Sheila Mant, is told. This boy who can be considered as obsessed to Sheila had the courage to ask Sheila out for a date, Sheila then agreed to go with him.

To cut it short, in the evening of the dance the boy set up well his canoe for him to use it to pick up Sheila; in their moment in the canoe the boy then had a dilemma between reeling in a large Mouth Bass or cutting the string and gain Sheila’s love. The story ended up with the boy deciding to cut the fishing line. In this story the author, Wethrell probably used the description of the size of the Bass, which was mentioned to be large, to as well describe how much he loves Sheila and also to describe the good qualities he saw in Sheila.

The dilemma the boy felt between the reeling in of the fish and letting it go, most likely explicitly says something about holding on or letting go of Sheila, which would determine if the saying “the only perfect love is the one that gets away” will be true for him. And for the third literary work which will be “Traveling through the Dark” by William Stafford, recounted a story of the speaker in the poem who found a dead deer with an unborn fawn inside her.

This deer mentioned, as described in the poem, was killed by a car hit, the speaker stressed out that he went near and checked on the dear that is why he had been able to describe how the dead deer looked and felt lying on the edge of Wilson River road. This poem by Stafford hides under its verses its true meaning which is in relation with the search for the ultimate truth. The narrator in the poem speaks with what appears to be like a maxim authority that is hard earned.

And the poem tells us in atypical means that the choices we are going to make conceivably should be similar to the choices made by the speakers in the poem. References: Bishop, Elizabeth. “The Fish”. www. poemhunter. com/. May 1 2007. <http://www. poemhunter. com/poem/the-fish/>. Stafford, William. “Traveling through the Dark”. www. newsfromnowhere. com. May 1 2007. <http://www. newsfromnowhere. com/stafford/wspoem07. html>. Wethrell, W. D. “The Bass, the River, and Sheila Man”. www. exampleessays. com. May 1 2007. <http://www. exampleessays. com/viewpaper/59827. html>.


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  • University/College: University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 5 September 2016

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