famous poetry
| Famous Poetry | Roleplay | Free Video Tutorials | Online Poetry Club | Free Education | Best of Youtube | Ear Training

The Fish Analysis



Author: poem of Elizabeth Bishop Type: poem Views: 20


I caught a tremendous fish
and held him beside the boat
half out of water, with my hook
fast in a corner of his mouth.
He didn't fight.
He hadn't fought at all.
He hung a grunting weight,
battered and venerable
and homely.  Here and there
his brown skin hung in strips
like ancient wallpaper,
and its pattern of darker brown
was like wallpaper:
shapes like full-blown roses
stained and lost through age.
He was speckled with barnacles,
fine rosettes of lime,
and infested
with tiny white sea-lice,
and underneath two or three
rags of green weed hung down.
While his gills were breathing in
the terrible oxygen
--the frightening gills,
fresh and crisp with blood,
that can cut so badly--
I thought of the coarse white flesh
packed in like feathers,
the big bones and the little bones,
the dramatic reds and blacks
of his shiny entrails,
and the pink swim-bladder
like a big peony.
I looked into his eyes
which were far larger than mine
but shallower, and yellowed,
the irises backed and packed
with tarnished tinfoil
seen through the lenses
of old scratched isinglass.
They shifted a little, but not
to return my stare.
--It was more like the tipping
of an object toward the light.
I admired his sullen face,
the mechanism of his jaw,
and then I saw
that from his lower lip
--if you could call it a lip
grim, wet, and weaponlike,
hung five old pieces of fish-line,
or four and a wire leader
with the swivel still attached,
with all their five big hooks
grown firmly in his mouth.
A green line, frayed at the end
where he broke it, two heavier lines,
and a fine black thread
still crimped from the strain and snap
when it broke and he got away.
Like medals with their ribbons
frayed and wavering,
a five-haired beard of wisdom
trailing from his aching jaw.
I stared and stared
and victory filled up
the little rented boat,
from the pool of bilge
where oil had spread a rainbow
around the rusted engine
to the bailer rusted orange,
the sun-cracked thwarts,
the oarlocks on their strings,
the gunnels--until everything
was rainbow, rainbow, rainbow!
And I let the fish go.

Sponsor


122 Free Video Tutorials

[Video Tutorial] How to build google chrome extensions

Please add me on youtube. I make free educational video tutorials on youtube such as Basic HTML and CSS.

Free Online Education from Top Universities

Yes! It's true. Online College Education is now free!



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




.: :.

“The Fish” is about a fisherman who tells a story of a fish that he caught. It is important that the poem is in past tense because the point of view is coming from the fisherman after he has gained appreciation for the fish. This is why he describes the fish as battered and homely, yet venerable. He also mentions that the fish had not fought at all which does not become significant until the end of the poem when we realize that this “tremendous” fish has finally been defeated. The fisherman recounts his thought process as he observes the fish. He initially regards the fish as an ugly creature, but he finds it interesting so he keeps observing it. He moves from noticing external features to more physiological features, such as gills and bones and entrails, finally he lands upon the eyes and glances into the fish’s soul. Finally, the narrator sees the fish’s lip, filled with five hooks, including his own. Here, a mild interest transitions to reverence as the fisherman realizes what this fish has been through, the life that it has led, and realizes that this simple, ugly fish has given up on life (that’s why he didn’t fight when clearly this fish has been caught, fought and won the fight against death so many times. The fisherman’s reverence is portrayed in several ways. What once was simply a jaw-mechanism is now an “aching jaw”. The “old pieces of fish line” are now like medals and comprise a “five-haired beard of wisdom”. These personifications serve to show the fisher’s newfound reverence and sympathy for the creature. Finally the fisherman’s newfound appreciation for this battered and venerable creature extends towards other seemingly pitiful or ugly aspects of his own life and the world around him. The most immediate example the fisherman gives is the very boat in which he is currently sitting. The “victory” filling up the “little rented boat” is not the victory the fisherman feels after catching a large fish, as it would be in most fishing tales, but the victorious nature of the boat itself. The fisherman realizes that this boat that he had rented at the beginning of the day, which he had not thought twice about until this point in his tale, had lived a full life and experienced trials and hardships just as this fish has. Just as the fish deserves reverence for its persistence through hardship, so does the boat and, presumably, once the man leaves the water and returns to his life, he will see such experience and wisdom in everything around him. The poem ends with the fisherman releasing the fish. However, he does not delve into his reasons for doing so. Perhaps he felt bad for the fish. Perhaps he respected the significance of this fish’s life too much to be the one to end it. Perhaps he wanted someone else to catch the fish and learn the same lesson he did. Regardless, this ending to the poem completely separates Elizabeth Bishop’s fishing story you’re your typical fishing tale where they “swear it was this big”.

| Posted on 2013-01-24 | by a guest


.: :.

Themes of environment and slavery are definite no\'s. I also hesitate to tie the work into aging. Concentrate on the sharp symbolism. The writer employs mostly concrete, very descriptive terms for a reason. We see two congruent transistions. The more obvious, the angler (whether man or woman, we don\'t know) struggles with keeping versus throwing back. Key shifts highlight the struggle: the fish is grotesque, meat is yummy, he\'s endured so much, this is a victory. The conflict culminates in an enthralled release. Bishop also takes us through another transition. The narrator begins the work rather impartial toward the fish, denoted by shorter descriptions and objectivity. By the end, the narrative projects human qualitieson animal, with longer and more meaningful/emotional descriptions. We are meant to travel alongside the angler in emotional journey so that we, too, come to care for the fish. [lot\'s of symbolism on strained vision]

| Posted on 2012-04-02 | by a guest


.: :.

Throughout the entire poem Elizabeth Bishop used great Imagery to help create a vivid image in the readers mind. \"I stared and stared and victory filled up the little rented boat, from the pool of bilge where oil had spread a rainbow around the rusted engine\" is a great example of imagery. Without the use of great Imagery this poem wouldn\'t be good. Imagery and similes make this poem what it is.

| Posted on 2012-02-21 | by a guest


.: :.

Throughout the entire poem Elizabeth Bishop used great Imagery to help create a vivid image in the readers mind. \"I stared and stared and victory filled up the little rented boat, from the pool of bilge where oil had spread a rainbow around the rusted engine\" is a great example of imagery. Without the use of great Imagery this poem wouldn\'t be good. Imagery and similes make this poem what it is.

| Posted on 2012-02-21 | by a guest


.: :.

this peom is about a women who goes forth in renting a boat to go fishing as a sport. While doing so she catches a fish, and at first she has absolutely no regards towards the fish in general besides it being \"a tremendous fish\" (561.) however, she recognizes something in the fish wheather it would be empathetical, or even sympathetical, she see\'s that the fish \"hadn\'t fought at all\"; almost as if it had given up trying to live. She got cerious to as of why it did not, so she began looking at the fish and examining its body. she described the fish to have a uniuqe patteren like a wallpapper spead acrossed its body, with patternerns that represented roases. she noticed that the fish had been through many troubles besides what she had put him through and she begain to admire \"his sullen face\" and \"the mechanism of his jaw.\" this imedietly changed her first reaction towards the fish and she looked at it almost as if it were a veteran of the sea with the \"five old pieces of fish-line\" that hung from its mouth \"like medals with their ribbons.\" i took it as if she became sympathetic for the fish and what it has been through throughout the years, and she had also regconized that the fish was wise in age (maybe the same way she was, but the poem does not varify the speakers age.)However, as the boat ,and maybe her, was old so was the fish and she began to respect the fish and how it has survived throughout the years just as the boat. She looked at both and seen that they had been throguh alot, but even that the \"rainbow!\" that had been screaming in her head had unraveled somthing more, and consiquiently she let go of the fish.

| Posted on 2011-11-03 | by a guest


.: :.

the purpose of this poem is to show the empathy, respect and admiration the fisherman has for the fish. The description of the fish also shows that the fish has had a long and prosperous life. And the hooks that hang from his its lip symbolizes victory and strength.

| Posted on 2011-06-13 | by a guest


.: :.

These \"analyses\" are possibly the worst things I\'ve ever read about the poem.

| Posted on 2011-06-07 | by a guest


.: :.

this poem it can teach you a lot but you need to read it and understand beyond the literary meaning.

| Posted on 2011-05-26 | by a guest


.: :.

this poem it can teach you a lot but you need to read it and understand beyond the literary meaning.

| Posted on 2011-05-26 | by a guest


.: :.

The Poem is about a man who decided to select someone and teach him how to live his life, however the one being taught in the end was himself. For he picked the needle in the haystack, and selected someone with a real history. He picked the strong one, cold in eyes, but strong in heart. It was then after he learned his valiant ways he decided where he was from made him who he was, and sent him back to where he can thrive.

| Posted on 2011-05-10 | by a guest


.: :.

this poem is about how aids started. the hooks represent hiv and the fish represents the host.

| Posted on 2011-05-09 | by a guest


.: :.

wisdom is most definitely a part of the poem. \"a five-haired beard of wisdom\"

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


.: :.

this poem showns how a fisherman is captivated with a fish he caught because the trials and tribulations it must have gone through.

| Posted on 2011-02-09 | by a guest


.: :.

Maybe Bishop or the fisherwoman was too clever, a success but at the cost of \"rainbow, rainbow, rainbow!\" which has foolish (pot of gold) contemporary connotations despite its fleeting beauty. Bishop doesn\'t want only wit, she wants \"more like the tipping/ of an object towards the light.\" She \"let the fish go\" almost impulsively or at least quickly in the last line because she is disturbed by herself for provoking in more ways than one this sadness of a symbol that \"hadn\'t fought at all,\" this elderly time at least. The reason for writing the poem then is to show how falling for the same trick over and over can be exciting but \"can cut so badly.\"

| Posted on 2011-01-06 | by a guest


.: :.

the fish is clearly a metaphor for lets play football and stop wasting our time over this fish

| Posted on 2010-09-23 | by a guest


.: :.

this, to me, is really about the victory that comes with age and overcoming struggles. the fish survives five previous fisherman, and the narrator lets the fish go because she respects it and wants it to live out the rest of its old, accomplished life instead of dying on an old boat. the rainbow is the victory of both the fish and its capturer!

| Posted on 2010-05-05 | by a guest


.: :.

knew the moment the speaker started to describe how the fish already had five hooks in his mouth that he was going to let the fish go, I just had a feeling and that is exactly what happened. The fish was tired, he was now old so he just gave up and let himself be caught, he stopped fighting, the fisherman saw that so he let him go. The fisherman respects the old fish, he has survived for so many times in the past, and now that he is too old to fight he just gives himself up

| Posted on 2010-04-08 | by a guest


.: :.

cry me a river you cow thats a fish thats a human that poos like you!!!

| Posted on 2010-04-08 | by a guest


.: :.

is how beauty comes can come from destruction and sorrow. You can note how she describes the inside of the fish compared to the outside of it. The rainbow was made of oil which although it damaged the river out of that came beauty

| Posted on 2010-04-08 | by a guest


.: :.

because this person named Naveed needs help really badly and needs a comment on this site.

| Posted on 2010-04-08 | by a guest


.: :.

the poem is trying to tell us that it has nature and that we've ruined it by pollution and mechanisation.

| Posted on 2010-04-08 | by a guest


.: :.

I felt as though this poem was a well thought out analogy for aging, change and the past. When the fisher threw the fish back in the end, it was symbolic for letting go of the past.

| Posted on 2010-03-15 | by a guest


.: :.

It's literal interpretation is about catching a fish but if you compare it to past history you'll notice its closely related to slavery. His brown skin hung in strips, from the whip of his slave master.

| Posted on 2009-11-21 | by a guest


.: :.

When I was young
and had no sence
i tried to piss
on an electric fence
it curled my hair
and tickled my balls
and made me shit
in my overalls

| Posted on 2009-11-18 | by a guest


.: :.

The fisher is experienced, knowing the ailments of the fish, the internal parts of the fish, the parts of the boat. Perhaps the fisher is using a little, rented boat because she (or "he" if Bishop decided to make her narrator male) is older and no longer has the boat she once used frequently. Perhaps she identifies with the old fish because she, too, is old. A key point is that the fish did not fight, although we later learn that he's fought hard before. The fisher's conscience is conflicted, and she can't decide whether to throw the fish back or keep it, so she lets it dangle beside the boat while she decides. She studies the fish, even looking into his eyes, as she tries to make her decision. She set out to catch a fish, and has caught a "tremendous" one -- keep it. But he didn't even put up a fight and he's old and he looks grotesque and diseased -- throw it back. But the insides would make good eating -- keep it. But he's already been through so much and fought so hard to keep himself alive -- throw it back. But while others failed to catch this fish, I have attained "victory" -- keep it. The fisher gets help in making her decision when she sees the growing oil rainbow. The rainbow is symbolic of the rainbow that God put in the sky after Noah's Ark (another "boat") reached safety, and the animals and people on board were saved. Perhaps this elderly fisher hopes that if she shows mercy towards this fish, she, too, will be shown mercy.

| Posted on 2009-11-15 | by a guest


.: :.

"Like medals with their ribbons
frayed and wavering,
a five-haired beard of wisdom"
I do believe the word wisdom is in the poem; 1 of only 2 abstract words.

| Posted on 2009-11-11 | by a guest


.: :.

The word wisdom is not located in the poem at all.
However, victory is

| Posted on 2009-10-24 | by a guest


.: :.

Everytime we come face-to-face with someone else's death, we come face-to-face with our own mortality- which, however inevitable and clear to us, is never easy to reconcile. The catcher is sparing him/herself by sparing the fish, who seems much at ease with his own mortality!

| Posted on 2009-08-16 | by a guest


.: :.

whats this poem about and what does it say about the subject

| Posted on 2009-06-04 | by a guest


.: :.

well writtem-did a presentation on this, great poem
-the comments before mine really helped me thank you

| Posted on 2009-05-13 | by a guest


.: :.

The only abstract words in the poem are victory and wisdom. The author uses concrete terms to create a better picture in the reader's mind.

| Posted on 2009-04-06 | by a guest


.: :.

This is a poem about a fish, and the interal struggle between whether to let the fish go or to keep it. Bishop uses personification by calling the fish him instead of it. In the end the fisher lets the fish go because that is the moral thing to do.

| Posted on 2009-03-11 | by a guest


.: :.

This poem is about an amateur fisher catching a fish. She is in a rented boat and she catches an ugly fish with many past hooks stuck in it. She compares it to a wise old man with war medals. She admires the fish and begins to see it as a survivor and as almost human. In the end she lets the fish go.

| Posted on 2008-12-08 | by a guest




Post your Analysis




Message

Free Online Education from Top Universities

Yes! It's true. College Education is now free!







Most common keywords

The Fish Analysis Elizabeth Bishop critical analysis of poem, review school overview. Analysis of the poem. literary terms. Definition terms. Why did he use? short summary describing. The Fish Analysis Elizabeth Bishop Characters archetypes. Sparknotes bookrags the meaning summary overview critique of explanation online education meaning metaphors symbolism characterization itunes. Quick fast explanatory summary. pinkmonkey free cliffnotes cliffnotes ebook pdf doc file essay summary literary terms analysis professional definition summary synopsis sinopsis interpretation critique The Fish Analysis Elizabeth Bishop itunes audio book mp4 mp3



Poetry 123
Poetry 81
Poetry 107
Poetry 127
Poetry 9
Poetry 24
Poetry 202
Poetry 38
Poetry 118
Poetry 74
Poetry 173
Poetry 54
Poetry 169
Poetry 88
Poetry 123
Poetry 196
Poetry 209
Poetry 31
Poetry 44
Poetry 153