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. The reader must also notice that almost the entire poem is surrounded in parentheses, including the title. The round shape of the parentheses resembles that of a fishbowl. Furthermore, the last line of the poem is “(bowl)” which is indicative of their purpose; the parentheses represent a fishbowl. A fishbowl is a barrier of sorts which does not allow the fish to explore outside its walls. In this way the goldfish are isolated from the rest of the world. This is a problem for the fish as they do not enjoy their sense of confinement. The male, described as a “drifter,” (line 1) courts the female and soon after they dream of exploring the ocean, a much vaster body of water. Clearly they cannot stand living in such a small world, with no power over such a lonely existence.

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        There is no particular rhyme scheme in this poem which leads the reader for focus more on the humour of this poem. The humour captures the audience's attention and emotions through the references to fish, which come in the form of puns. 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 ...

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