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Giant Toad Analysis



Author: poem of Elizabeth Bishop Type: poem Views: 6

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    I am too big. Too big by far. Pity me.

    My eyes bulge and hurt. They are my one great beauty, even

so. They see too much, above, below. And yet, there is not much

to see. The rain has stopped. The mist is gathering on my skin

in drops. The drops run down my back, run from the corners of

my 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 me

through 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'm

standing up. The lichen's gray, and rough to my front feet. Get

down. Turn facing out, it's safer. Don't breathe until the snail

gets by. But we go travelling the same weathers.

    Swallow the air and mouthfuls of cold mist. Give voice, just

once. O how it echoed from the rock! What a profound, angelic

bell I rang!

    I live, I breathe, by swallowing. Once, some naughty children

picked me up, me and two brothers. They set us down again

somewhere and in our mouths they put lit cigarettes. We could

not help but smoke them, to the end. I thought it was the death

of me, but when I was entirely filled with smoke, when my slack

mouth was burning, and all my tripes were hot and dry, they

let 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 great

responsibility. Big wings of poison, folded on my back. Beware,

I am an angel in disguise; my wings are evil, but not deadly. If

I will it, the poison could break through, blue-black, and

dangerous to all. Blue-black fumes would rise upon the air.

Beware, you frivolous crab.






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