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Giant Toad Analysis

Author: Poetry of Elizabeth Bishop Type: Poetry Views: 186

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Uncollected Work1969I am too big. Too big by far. Pity me.My eyes bulge and hurt. They are my one great beauty, evenso. They see too much, above, below. And yet, there is not muchto see. The rain has stopped. The mist is gathering on my skinin drops. The drops run down my back, run from the corners ofmy downturned mouth, run down my sides and drip beneath

my belly. Perhaps the droplets on my mottled hide are pretty,

like dewdrops, silver on a moldering leaf? They chill methrough and through. I feel my colors changing now, my pig-

ments gradually shudder and shift over.Now I shall get beneath that overhanging ledge. Slowly. Hop.Two or three times more, silently. That was too far. I'mstanding up. The lichen's gray, and rough to my front feet. Getdown. Turn facing out, it's safer. Don't breathe until the snailgets by. But we go travelling the same weathers.Swallow the air and mouthfuls of cold mist. Give voice, justonce. O how it echoed from the rock! What a profound, angelicbell I rang!I live, I breathe, by swallowing. Once, some naughty childrenpicked me up, me and two brothers. They set us down againsomewhere and in our mouths they put lit cigarettes. We couldnot help but smoke them, to the end. I thought it was the deathof me, but when I was entirely filled with smoke, when my slackmouth was burning, and all my tripes were hot and dry, theylet us go. But I was sick for days.I have big shoulders, like a boxer. They are not muscle,however, and their color is dark. They are my sacs of poison,the almost unused poison that I bear, my burden and my greatresponsibility. Big wings of poison, folded on my back. Beware,

I am an angel in disguise; my wings are evil, but not deadly. IfI will it, the poison could break through, blue-black, anddangerous to all. Blue-black fumes would rise upon the air.Beware, you frivolous crab.


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