“Bishop uses highly detailed observation, of people, places and events, to explore unique personal experiences in her poetry.”
Discuss this statement, supporting your answer with reference to the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop on your course.
This is the 2016 question on Elizabeth Bishop. I am aware of Bishop's detailed observations and her painters eye. I cannot think of unique personal experiences she has in Filling Station, The fish or The prodigal. Can anybody help with this?
In the Filling Station, Bishop realizes that somebody loves everyone, and that being in this little Filling Station brought to her a personal realization that she is loved.
In The Fish, Bishop has a moment of epiphany where she lets the fish go because this fish has survived so many other times (think of the medals on him from getting away multiple times) Bishop relates this to her own personal struggles and how she has survived life so far, and her depression. This Fish to Bishop is a symbol of survival, and Bishop realizes that she can't be the one to catch him if he has survived this long. If a simple fish can show resilience, so can she.
In the Prodigal, we see him coming home at the end after fighting a long battle with alcoholism: "But sometimes mornings after drinking bouts / (he had pints behind a two-by-four)" and "he thought he almost might endure / his exile yet another year or more". In this poem, Bishop is showing that redemption can come, it just takes a long time. The last line is "But it took him a long time / finally to make his mind up to go home", in the Bishop is capturing how a person can be a slave to an addiction, which is from her own experience.
These are my own opinions, but I hope they helped!!