Comparing Elizabeth Bishop's At The Fishhouses And The Moose

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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. In the case of Elizabeth Bishop this concept extends to nature. Within Bishop’s poems there is a sense that she connects to nature in a way that is specific to herself and her poetry. She possesses an “inner eye” in which her poems of the natural world and the figures within it take on roles that are more than mere description. Likewise, while reading poems such as “At the Fishhouses,” and “The Moose,” there is a sensation that Bishop is trying to share the lens through which she views her natural surroundings with the reader. Although many of her works show a connection to nature, the two poems mentioned above, can and will, illustrate how Bishop engages with nature, the correlation between this engagement…show more content…
It is not until it steps aside that the bus ride can resume, yet its smell still remains despite the “acrid” smell of gasoline mingling in the air as well. Author Peggy Samuels explains, “The moose has its own independent existence and its own distinctive motion… The weight of the speaker and passengers, sinking down into their seats and the conversation and thoughts rising up are held in suspension of relations of disparate “objects” that move along particularized trajectories” (197). This showcases Bishop’s portrayal of nature because it is not the bus that stops the moose, but the moose that stops the bus’s trajectory. Likewise, the bus is a manmade object, but it does not completely snuff out the moose’s scent. The message that nature does not bend underneath mankind appears within “The Moose” through these details. Furthermore, this portrayal of humankind’s relationship to nature also appears within a stanza of “At the Fishhouses,” as Bishop describes touching and tasting the sea: If you should dip your hand in, your wrist would ache immediately, your bones would begin to ache and your hand would burn as if the water were a transmutation of fire that feeds on stones and burns with a dark gray…show more content…
The use of the description of a human being hurt by nature, rather than being implied, speaks volumes. It showcases that nature in comparison to humankind has more power despite our coexistence. We may hurt elements of nature for a variety of reasons, but in the end we are insignificant when placed next to it. Just as the moose is unaffected by the bus, and the bus is forced to halt until it moves, a human will be hurt by the coldness of the sea which seems to say that nature possess the power against humanity and that it will employ that

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