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Squatter's Children Analysis

Author: poem of Elizabeth Bishop Type: poem Views: 11

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On the unbreathing sides of hills

they play, a specklike girl and boy,

alone, but near a specklike house.

The Sun's suspended eye

blinks casually, and then they wade

gigantic waves of light and shade.

A dancing yellow spot, a pup,

attends them. Clouds are piling up;

a storm piles up behind the house.

The children play at digging holes.

The ground is hard; they try to use

one of their father's tools,

a mattock with a broken haft

the two of them can scarcely lift.

It drops and clangs. Their laughter spreads

effulgence in the thunderheads,

Weak flashes of inquiry

direct as is the puppy's bark.

But to their little, soluble,

unwarrantable ark,

apparently the rain's reply

consists of echolalia,

and Mother's voice, ugly as sin,

keeps calling to them to come in.

Children, the threshold of the storm

has slid beneath your muddy shoes;

wet and beguiled, you stand among

the mansions you may choose

out of a bigger house than yours,

whose lawfulness endures.

It's soggy documents retain

your rights in rooms of falling rain.


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