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Five Flights Up Analysis

Author: poem of Elizabeth Bishop Type: poem Views: 13

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Still dark.
The unknown bird sits on his usual branch.
The little dog next door barks in his sleep
inquiringly, just once.
Perhaps in his sleep, too, the bird inquires
once or twice, quavering.
Questions--if that is what they are--
answered directly, simply,
by day itself.

Enormous morning, ponderous, meticulous;
gray light streaking each bare branch,
each single twig, along one side,
making another tree, of glassy veins...
The bird still sits there. Now he seems to yawn.

The little black dog runs in his yard.
His owner's voice arises, stern,
"You ought to be ashamed!"
What has he done?
He bounces cheerfully up and down;
he rushes in circles in the fallen leaves.

Obviously, he has no sense of shame.
He and the bird know everything is answered,
all taken care of,
no need to ask again.
--Yesterday brought to today so lightly!
(A yesterday I find almost impossible to lift.)


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

.: :.

This does not help at all. the people posting answers are probably not professionals and I cannot trust them.

| Posted on 2013-04-29 | by a guest

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To begin analysis of the poem \"Five A.M.\" the speaker\'s tone must first be taken into consideration. The tone of the poem is one of optimism. The personification used in \"morning breathes\" and \"hooded lights\" shows that the speaker feels more like he/she is kept company by his/her surroundings, rather than as if they are passing them by alone. The brief descriptions of the passing images shows that the speaker is moving on, passing them by, not dwelling on what he/she passes. This conveys the speaker\'s state of mind: easygoing and accepting. As his/her feet \"flicker\" by streetlights in line 6, the imagery used in this line symbolizes the speaker\'s attitude toward his/her life-- it\'s in and out of the light, \"flickering\" through good and bad times but, nevertheless, moving onward. The description of his/her arms alternating easily to his/her pace also exemplifies this aspect of the speaker\'s state of mind. As the alteration, meaning change, occurs, his/her arms move easily through it, just as he/she seems to move easily through life. In line 8, the speaker asks the rhetorical question, \"Where are my troubles?\" The use of this question as an end to the stanza conveys the speaker\'s tone perhaps the strongest. With the implied answer of \"behind me,\" this rhetorical question further stresses the optimistic tone of the poem. This tone is intensified in the last stanza, as the speaker focuses not on the bad people, but the good. The uphill curve described in line 14 can serve as two symbols: the beginning of a struggle, and the nearing of the top of a hill. As the speaker travels upward, the path becomes harder. But, because of the mention of the birds spilling from the thicket in line 15, the uphill curve can also be interpreted as another symbol: hope. As the thicket may be a rough, thick bush, beautiful spring birds spill out consistently from it. This can be a metaphor for the speaker\'s outlook on life. He/she sees it as a rough patch, followed by a brilliant time of happiness. The season of the poem is implied to be springtime, a time of life. The last two lines end the poem with this same attitude. As the air remains still when the rain falls from the sky, as does the speaker\'s outlook on life as hard times roll around. The rain touching the speaker\'s face emphasizes this point, as rain may come from a storm, but it brings life to the earth, just as hard times eventually bring happpiness to the speaker.

| Posted on 2011-03-31 | by a guest

.: :.

What is there to analyze, maybe that "bird perched on a tree" is just a bird perched on a tree.

| Posted on 2010-04-16 | by a guest

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