Monday, August 19, 2019

Elizabeth Bishop And Her Poem filling Station Essay example -- essay

Elizabeth Bishop and Her Poem "Filling Station" Elizabeth Bishop's skill as a poet can be clearly seen in the thought- provoking poem entitled Filling Station. She paints the different language levels of poetry with the skill of an artist-- she seems to have an eye for detail as she contrasts the dark and dim reference of a filling station to a more homey, pleasant atmosphere. Bishop aptly arranges her words and expressions through the language devices of voice and metaphor. In Filling Station, Bishop uses tone of voice brilliantly, through the use of phonetics, to create the poem's initial atmosphere. The opening seems to be offering a straightforward description of the filling station: "Oh, but it is dirty!/ -this little filling station,/ oil-soaked, oil-permeated/ to a disturbing, over-all/ black translucency". A closer inspection of the passage reveals quite a visual oil-soaked picture. This is created in large part by the oily sounds themselves. When spoken out-loud the diphthong [oi] in oil creates a diffusion of sound around the mouth that physically spreads the oil sound around the passage. An interesting seepage can also be clearly seen when looking specifically at the words "oil-soaked", "oil-permeated" and "grease- impregnated". These words connect the [oi] in oily with the word following it and heighten the spreading of the sound. Moreover, when studying the [oi] atmosphere throughout the poem the [oi] in doily and embroidered seems to particularly stand out. The oozing of the grease in the filling station moves to each new stanza with the mention of these words: In the fourth stanza, "big dim doily", to the second last stanza, "why, oh why, the doily? /Embroidered" to the last stanza, "somebody embroidered the doily". Whereas the [oi] sound created an oily sound of language throughout the poem, the repetitive [ow] sound achieves a very different syntactical feature. The cans which "softly say: /ESSO--SO--SO--SO" create a wind-like blowing effect from the mouth. Each SO allows for a sort of visual metaphor to be seen-- cars or the personified "high-strung automobiles" as they pass on by. Not only are [oi] and [ow] sounds effectively used in this poem to create a unique tone but so is th... ...can be that small part in us that still searches for hope and normalcy. We each need a "comfy" filling station. And although judgmental onlookers, or as Bishop writes the "high-strung automobiles", may only want to see the dirtiness of an individual character, a family or situation, they need to realize that if they look deep enough, light will shine through. "Somebody loves us all" if we are only to give the thought and time. Afterall, even an automobile needs oil every once in a while to continue down its path. In conclusion, it can be clearly seen that Elizabeth Bishop in the poem Filling Station has wonderfully played with different levels of language like voice and metaphor. The reader becomes actively involved in questioning their own filling station and the care they give toward it. Is he or she the station, one who drives by the station or one who gives to the station? Bibliography Bishop, Elizabeth. "Filling Station." An Introduction to Poetry. Eds. Dana Gioia and X.J. Kennedy. Eighth Edition. New York: HarperCollins College Publishers, 1994.

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