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Commentary on (love song, with two goldfish) by Grace Chua

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(love song, with two goldfish)? by Grace Chua ?(love song, with two goldfish)? by Grace Chua is a contemporary poem written in 2003. The poem is about a pair of goldfish living together in a fishbowl and experiencing a romantic relationship. The two goldfish represent a young couple (young teenagers) growing up in an environment which deprives them of their desires and does not fulfil them; their common feelings of isolation draw them toward each other, then apart as they mature and slowly realize that they do not truly care for each other but came together mainly because of circumstance. The poem uses a lot of humorous puns which express that love can be ruined by some circumstances and a desire for a better life-experience. The title explains much about the poem; love will be a theme, as well as the significance of the two goldfish which will likely be a metaphor. ...read more.


Not one of these puns is insignificant however; each has its own detail to add to the larger idea of the poem. The author also cleverly uses all of these jokes to allow the reader to notice the dichotomy of the references: each joke could be interpreted as both a pun because they are fish and a hint at their human characteristics. The first line of the poem ?He's a drifter? is and example of dichotomy. By nature he ventures and explores and cannot stay in the same place for long. By contrast, he lives in a fishbowl, in a compact space, and so cannot do this. This leaves him with an existentialist outlook on life. The fish are clearly anthropomorphous as they think and act as humans would, such as sharing secrets and counting the waves. The goldfish are comparable to teenagers through the depiction of their intense and unstable relationship; young couples are prone to fighting more and are more passionate. ...read more.


This powerful romantic emotion is common to teenagers, who have not yet learned what the limitations of life are. The female, who is quicker to mature emotionally, realizes first that their relationship is not based on feelings for each other and is quick to end it, knowing that they cannot escape their reality through each other. This is supported by the tone of the poem. In the beginning the tone is slow and the relationship between the fish is also slow. As they become closer in stanzas 2 to 3 the tone speeds up, just as does their relationship. When it draws to a close and the girl leaves the boy the tone returns to its original pace to show how their lives return to being similar to what they were before. The female and male both come to understand themselves and their world better from their experience, which is the only change from the beginning. The author cleverly leaves hints for the reader instead of directly communicating what transpires between the two fish. ...read more.

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