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The Weed Analysis

Author: poem of Elizabeth Bishop Type: poem Views: 10

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I dreamed that dead, and meditating,

I lay upon a grave, or bed,

(at least, some cold and close-built bower).

In the cold heart, its final thought

stood frozen, drawn immense and clear,

stiff and idle as I was there;

and we remained unchanged together

for a year, a minute, an hour.

Suddenly there was a motion,

as startling, there, to every sense

as an explosion.  Then it dropped

to insistent, cautious creeping

in the region of the heart,

prodding me from desperate sleep.

I raised my head.  A slight young weed

had pushed up through the heart and its

green head was nodding on the breast.

(All this was in the dark.)

It grew an inch like a blade of grass;

next, one leaf shot out of its side

a twisting, waving flag, and then

two leaves moved like a semaphore.

The stem grew thick. The nervous roots

reached to each side; the graceful head

changed its position mysteriously,

since there was neither sun nor moon

to catch its young attention.

The rooted heart began to change

(not beat) and then it split apart

and from it broke a flood of water.

Two rivers glanced off from the sides,

one to the right, one to the left,

two rushing, half-clear streams,

(the ribs made of them two cascades)

which assuredly, smooth as glass,

went off through the fine black grains of earth.

The weed was almost swept away;

it struggled with its leaves,

lifting them fringed with heavy drops.

A few drops fell upon my face

and in my eyes, so I could see

(or, in that black place, thought I saw)

that each drop contained a light,

a small, illuminated scene;

the weed-deflected stream was made

itself of racing images.

(As if a river should carry all

the scenes that it had once reflected

shut in its waters, and not floating

on momentary surfaces.)

The weed stood in the severed heart.

"What are you doing there?" I asked.

It lifted its head all dripping wet

(with my own thoughts?)

and answered then: "I grow," it said,

"but to divide your heart again."


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

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I admire the fact that Elizabeth Bishop utilizes a metaphor of a weed to represent an addiction to death. As proven throughout her biographies and such, she experienced traumatic displeasures as a young child: her father died when she was eight months old, her mother developed forms of insanity. All of these traumatizing events culminated into her own demise and eventually an addiction of death. Elizabeth portrays these ideas through her metaphor of the weed representing an addiction, and of course as we all know during 1998 when the Undertaker threw Mankind off Hell in a Cell, and plummeted 16 feet through an announcer's table.

| Posted on 2017-11-21 | by a guest

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i liked the theme of chicken wings throughout the halcyon poem of extravegant homologies in the green earth we all inhibit from moon landings which are fake

| Posted on 2010-05-03 | by a guest

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The poem "The Weed", by Elizabeth Bishop. This poem gives a lot of insight into life and how life is a big cycle. One dies, and another rises. The circle of life. Life is always changing, growing, and evolving. It does this through the deathbed of the author.

The poem starts with death. Death is a part of life that happens to everyone and everything that is living, and Bishop experiences this through a dream. A sure part of life is death. Eventually everything comes to an end, but changes happen and life goes on. People die, but things still happen to them even after they are in the grave.

Next she lies with her cold heart, and her last thought remaining unchanged for "a year, a minute, an hour". This is how our life has an impact after we die. After we die, our last thoughts and activities can continue to have an impact on the world. The difference is how long the impact lasts on the earth, it could be any amount of time. Even the thoughts of life cycle as new ideas come up and replace the old ones, and our thoughts are replaced by new ideas.

A plant begins to grow out of the corpse. Old life is replaced by the new. From the falling of one comes the success of another. The plant grows out of her heart, the symbol for love, almost as if to show that through love, life is born. Grass grows only because people die. Life continues because lives end. Everyone is a part of the food chain, and they kill things to live, and things live because they die. A person dies, plants grow from the corpse, and people eat the plants. The food cycles.

As the plant grows it shoots out a couple leaves, roots, and it's stem thickens. This shows how the life thrives out of her death. In the cycle of how life goes on after death, the life grows and moves. She says that all this was in the dark, as if to show that life does not come from the sun, but rather comes solely from the death of another. Because she died, this plant lives. Not only does it live, but it grows and develops into something new, and possibly better.

Initially the plant had come out of the cold heart after there was a movement like an explosion. In this way life changes and evolves. After the plant stems leaves and roots, the rooted heart begins to change. Once again life is changing and out of the rooted heart comes a flood of water. Although this is not a natural occurence, it shows that life can change in mysterious ways as time progresses.

Two rivers come out of the plant and go down the ribs. As time progresses life builds upon the old, multiplies, and adapts. The venue of activity changes, but ultimately grows, and then goes back to the earth. The poem says that the water "went off through the black grains of earth". After the water goes back into the earth, more plants will probably grow because of it, and life will continue to build upon itself.

The river reflects images as if it remembers everything it remembers. The river, not a living thing, continues on supporting life, while not actually living. It gives of itself, and remembers all the history that has happened.
The weed struggled as it shook water off of it. As life changes there are struggles. Change is not easy, and there is usually opposition. When the weed broke out of Bishop's heart there was a feeling like an explosion that "prodded" her "from desperate sleep". Whether good change or bad change there is always opposition.
Throughout the poem it is emphasized that all this happens in the dark. This is almost as if to say after we die, what happens in the future is in the dark and we do not know what goes on after we die. We don't know about the changes that will happen, and how little impact our lives will have on the earth.

The end of the poem seems to sum up the main idea well. The weeds says "I grow, but to divide your heart again". This shows that the weed's only goal is to grow and break up her heart more. The weed continues to grow, and life goes on without people.
Life is not everlasting, and our impact on the world is not lasting. The world moves on after we die, and continues to change. Our impact on the earth is limited, and may only last a minute. The elements are the only things that stay throughout time. Life continues on without us and evolves and changes, but the water stays the same.
This is what I thought about the poem for my College Lit. theory class Winter 2009. moinhi. rabaismyna. bemeiwonoliabth.

| Posted on 2009-01-27 | by a guest

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