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English Commentary - Sandpiper

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Sandpiper Commentary The title of Elizabeth Bishop's poem, Sandpiper, has a very straightforward meaning. It is basically the name of a bird, of which this poem is about, which is just walking along the beach. It is a suitable title as shows specifically what the poem is about, a simple bird. The poem is structured into 5 stanzas of the same length each, which is a similar structure to many poems. The first 3 stanzas focus primarily on the bird and its perspective. Then the writer changes perspective to observing the bird. Throughout the poem, the writer describes in connotations using language which describe negative emotions for the bird and the surroundings. The bird is always running around, frantically and hopelessly looking for something. ...read more.


The writer uses an oxymoron when describing the bird's state, which is of controlled panic. The speed of the stanza is very fast as the writer uses repetition as the bird is running. The enjambment helps the writer visualise the image of quick movement. As the theme of the poem is to make the reader visualise and see the very small yet beautiful details in life, the writer helps us reach this feeling by using many literary devices which add to the poems meaning. On one side the poems literal meaning is simply a bird searching for something with a large ocean behind him. On the other hand, the figurative meaning is much deeper with a great extent of meaning. Throughout the poem, most of it is seen from the bird's perspective and what it sees. ...read more.


The bird is 'looking for something, something, something'. The poem finishes with a great observation of the sand grains, to the point where the reader notices that lots of beauty can be found in the smallest things we take for granted. The 'quartz grains, rose and amethyst' represent the fine detail of the sand. At the end of the poem, the reader understands what Bishop was trying to achieve with this powerful and meaningful poem, it draws our attention closer to the little details of existence, which the bird is solely occupied with; as the water "glazes over his dark and brittle feet", "to the spaces" between his toes, and finally to the millions beautiful and detailed grains of sand at the end. ?? ?? ?? ?? Sheheryar Javaid IB1 - 2 ...read more.

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