This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Nature In The Poems: The Fish By Elizabeth Bishop And The Meadow Mouse By Theodore Roethke

658 words - 3 pages

Two poems, “The Fish” by Elizabeth Bishop and “The Meadow Mouse” by Theodore Roethke, include characters who experience, learn, and emote with nature. In Elizabeth Bishop’s poem “The Fish,” a fisherman catches a fish, likely with the intention to kill it, but frees it when he sees the world through the eyes of the fish. In Theodore Roethke’s poem “The Meadow Mouse,” a man finds a meadow mouse with the intention of keeping it and shielding it from nature, but it escapes into the wild. These poems, set in different scenarios, highlight two scenarios where men and women interact with nature and experience it in their own ways.
Each poem describes a scene where a man learns from his experience and interaction with nature. In “The Meadow Mouse” the man instantly finds himself a father-figure to the mouse that he finds. When the mouse leaves, he thinks of the dangers of nature such as, “the turtle ...view middle of the document...

Both men learn about themselves and how they feel about nature from their encounters with wildlife.
Although both poems end with a description of each man learns, they do not find nature to be the same. “The Meadow Mouse” ends with the man thinking about the dangers of nature. He calls, “all things innocent, hapless, and forsaken,” as if nature is dangerous and should be feared. He finds that he is fearful of nature and feels the need to protect himself and “all things” from it. “The Fish” ends with the man releasing the fish and seeing the world in rainbows. Throughout the poem the man begins to become more empathetic towards the fish, beginning with a purely optical description followed by an in depth description, and finally an empathetic description of the fish as he reels it in. Once the fish is at the boat he sees, “everything [as] rainbows, rainbows, rainbows!” as if he was looking through the eyes of the fish and understanding the fish. This fish highlights and emphasizes this man’s love of nature and how powerful its beauty is. The connotation of rainbows in this power include beauty and mysticism. The man in “The Fish” finds his love of nature, and the man in “The Meadow Mouse” finds his fear of nature.
Although both of these men learn from their individual interactions and experiences with nature, they both “take away” different emotions. Fear and love are close to opposites to each other, but with respect to nature they may not be so different. Love is literally a feeling of deep affection, and fear is an emotion caused by the belief that something is likely a threat or dangerous. What if this threat is a threat of beauty or love? What if this threat is not a physical threat but an emotional one in which an emotion is threatening to appear? If this emotion is love, then the love and fear of nature are not so different; they are more similar than different. The fisherman seems to be ready to accept nature and all of its beauty, but the man from “The Meadow Mouse” is not ready to accept natures love, and therefore the endings of the two poems are different, yet alike.

Find Another Essay On Nature in the Poems: The Fish by Elizabeth Bishop and The Meadow Mouse by Theodore Roethke

An Anyalsis of the poem 'The Fish' by Elizabeth Bishop

681 words - 3 pages The poem 'The Fish' by Elizabeth Bishop is a narrative poem told in first person about the capture of a fish by an amateur fisher and the progression of the understanding for the beauty of nature.As the poem progresses the speaker moves from a sympathetic pitiful view to a respected and admiring view of the fish. The internal confrontation of the speaker is aided with vivid imagery and similes. The speaker convinces the reader alternatively of

Contrasting parenting styles in poems "Those Winter Sundays" by Robert Hayden and "My Papa's Waltz" by Theodore Roethke

838 words - 3 pages Parenting is intended to guide children toward an independent adulthood. Morals and lessons are developed through discipline, imitation, and learned respect for oneself and society. Some parents show love and affection whereas others shape their children with respect and stern discipline. In the poems "Those Winter Sundays" by Robert Hayden and "My Papa's Waltz" by Theodore Roethke, a relationship between a father and son are portrayed as both

Human Interaction with Nature in the Works of Aldo Leopold and Elizabeth Bishop

1583 words - 6 pages Human Interaction with Nature in the Works of Aldo Leopold and Elizabeth Bishop The poet Elizabeth Bishop and the naturalist Aldo Leopold share a keen power of observation, a beautifully detailed manner of writing, a love for the beauty of nature, and an interest in how people interact with the natural world. Like Leopold, Bishop examines human interactions with nature on both the personal and the ecological level. On the individual level, a

Power and Uncertainty in Elizabeth Bishop´s Poems

834 words - 4 pages . Due to its overwhelming popularity and success she decided to edit and re-release in 1955 as Poems: North and South—A Cold Spring, with an additional 18 poems that constituted the “Cold Spring” section. With the new makeover of the book her popularity skyrocketed, winning Bishop the Nobel Prize for Poetry in 1956. Bishop, like many other authors before her wrote about her thoughts and feelings. Questions of Travel (1965) focused on her sights

The Storm by Theodore Roethke

1317 words - 5 pages The Storm by Theodore Roethke      The descriptive poem written by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Theodore Roethke, deals with an aggressive storm and all its effects on the environment: the surrounding nature and the people experiencing it. The storm is described in a disorganized manner to highlight the big chaos the storm causes. Nature is precisely illustrated, because it reacts on the storm and thus is an important factor for the

The Unforgettable Waltz by Theodore Roethke

648 words - 3 pages Justin A. Williams ENGL 112 DEN Professor Hurst 16 April 2014 “The Unforgettable Waltz” My Papa’s Waltz is a powerful poem written by Theodore Roethke. The title of the poem set my expectations on a poem about someone dancing with their father. As I read the poem, I noticed my expectations were not equivalent to the poem’s actual content. The author’s creative use of words in the title enhances the poem. My Papa’s Waltz consists of four

Considering and Analyzing the Denotative and Connotative Meanings in "My Papa's Waltz" by Theodore Roethke

804 words - 3 pages loophole. "Then waltzed me off to bed" (line 15). By regarding this waltz as a figure of speech another connotation to the title may be deduced. This interpretation would view the waltz as a symbol representing the father putting the child to sleep. As the poem illustrates, the first half of the waltz is difficult - it is hard to fall asleep at first - but as time progresses the waltz becomes relaxed and easy.In "My Papa's Waltz" as in poems alike, understanding the denotative and connotative meanings attached to the language provides the reader with a richer understanding of the poet's intention.Works Cited List:Librero, Blancho & Emilio. "Waltz." Waltz. 29 Aug 2006.

The Actual Meaning of My Papa's Waltz by Theodore Roethke

838 words - 3 pages identify with this. Because of the vivid imagery, the reader can feel the boy's pain and fear of his father. In this case, the waltz is not a bonding time between a father and his son. People now would identify with the son and find a hatred for the father because of the mental and physical toll this could have on a child. The father does his dance by "waltzing" all over his son. Works Cited Roethke, Theodore. "My Papa's Waltz." Discovering Literature: Stories, Poems, Plays. Ed. Hans P. Guth and Gabriel L. Rico. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1997, 536.

"Filling Station" by Elizabeth Bishop and "The Jailer" by Sylvia Plath - analysis and comparison of styles

2060 words - 8 pages reconciled".A very interesting reading is offered by Renée R. Curry (White Women Writing White: H. D., Elizabeth Bishop, Sylvia Plath and Whiteness, Greenwood Press, 2000)1. She approaches the poem from the point of view of racial differences. She points out that the first stanza of "Filling Station" is full of blackness in its negative sense: dirt, disturbance, danger. The line "Careful with that match!" suggests "fear of the explosiveness of

Analyzing "One Art" by Elizabeth Bishop is an Analytical Essay of One Art by Elizabeth Bishop. It looks at the authors meaning of "losing" in this polygamous poem

1764 words - 7 pages Analyzing "One Art" by Elizabeth BishopIn "One Art", by Elizabeth Bishop there is a prevalent theme of Amateur vs. Skilled, Hoard vs. Reveal. Bishop appears to be the skilled individual in the poem. In the opening lines of the poem, she informs the reader that the "art of losing isn't hard to master". Losing can be an acquired skill that one can master. According to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, a "master" is one who

Analysis of the Poem My Papa´s Waltz by Theodore Roethke

744 words - 3 pages power comes respect and the young Roethke respects his father by not responding to the injury. If you respect one's power, you show love for the holder. Fear is the last symbol that renders an unspoken bond between Theodore and his father. Although some might believe fear is a symbol of being afraid of his dad hurting him, but in fact, it is the exact opposite. In the line "but I hung on like death" he is afraid of falling and embarrassing himself

Similar Essays

The Fish By: Elizabeth Bishop Essay

1100 words - 4 pages that reflects Elizabeth Bishop's ability as a poet. She observes the beauty in nature through the simple act of catching a fish. Bishop employs several literary techniques such as metaphor, symbolism, personification, and imagery to convey her experience. Her great attention to detail allows us to understand the fish as she does and, as a result, understand why she sets the fish free.Work CitedBishop, Elizabeth. "The Fish." Contemporary American Poetry. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. 1980."Elizabeth Bishop Overview." Gale Resource Database. Site Accessed May 6, 2004. <>

The Fish By Elizabeth Bishop Essay

886 words - 4 pages The Fish by Elizabeth Bishop      With fewer than fifty published poems Elizabeth Bishop is not one of the most prominent poets of our time. She is however well known for her use of imagery and her ability to convey the narrator?s emotions to the reader. In her vividly visual poem 'The Fish', the reader is exposed to a story wherein the use of language not only draws the reader into the story but causes the images to transcend the written

Imagery And Diction In The Fish By Elizabeth Bishop

1304 words - 5 pages Imagery and Diction in The Fish by Elizabeth Bishop Elizabeth Bishop's use of imagery and diction in "The Fish" is meant to support the themes of observation and the deceptive nature of surface appearance. Throughout the course of the poem these themes lead the narrator to the important realization that aging (as represented by the fish) is not a negative process, and allows for a reverie for all life. Imagery and diction are the

Analysis Of The Fish By Elizabeth Bishop

1123 words - 4 pages the entire poem. As discussed previously Elizabeth Brown begins her poem by comparing the fish to mundane browns while also using other colors to paint a picture for the reader. She writes, “with tiny white sea-lice,/ and underneath two or three/ rags of green weed hung down” (19-21). Utilizing colors allows Bishop to manipulate her words to invoke emotions in the reader while also vividly describing a simple fish. Furthermore, she uses these