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The Sandpiper by Elizabeth Bishop is about a student of William Blake that is trying to find himself. He is looking for something

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Introduction

Sandpiper The Sandpiper by Elizabeth Bishop is about a student of William Blake that is trying to find himself. He is looking for something, not sure of what it is, possibly a new world of his own in which he belongs. It is as if the sandpiper is surrounded by these boundaries that are stopping him from reaching what he is looking for. The theme of the poem could also be Blake's famous quote that, "It is possible to see a world in a grain of sand". The sandpiper is looking for that world in the millions of grains of sand. "The roaring alongside he takes for granted, and that every so often the world is bound to shake. He runs, he runs to the south, finical, awkward, in a state of controlled panic, a student of Blake." In the first line of the poem the bird is unaware to his surroundings; the roaring of the ocean "he takes for granted." If we look at the ocean's roaring in a different point of view, maybe the sandpiper has come to accept this fact of modern life, "that every so often the world is bound to shake." ...read more.

Middle

The bird is a student of Blake's and because of this we have an understanding that the bird is searching for something else. "The beach hisses like fat. On his left, a sheet of interrupting water comes and goes and glazes over his dark and brittle feet. He runs, he runs straight through it, watching his toes." In the first line of the second stanza Bishop uses the simile "the beach hisses like fat." The word fat creates an image of something sticky and unattractive in our minds. It is possible that the fat is used to describe the virtual boundaries by which the bird is stopped from reaching what it is seeking. The poet then goes on to say "a sheet of interrupting water comes and goes". Bishop uses an oxymoron by saying 'comes and goes.' The point that the poet is putting forward is that the water is 'interrupting' the sandpiper from its search. The bird is obsessed in his search and everything around him are just distractions. Bishop then goes on to discuss the bird's feet which leads to the point that "He runs, he runs". ...read more.

Conclusion

He does not notice the events occurring around him, as he is occupied in his quest. He stares while the world is a mist, but then it becomes "minute and vast and clear." He does not notice the ocean tides; they do not matter now. For the sandpiper is "preoccupied". "looking for something, something, something. Poor bird, he is obsessed! The millions of grains are black, white, tan, and gray mixed with quartz grains, rose and amethyst." The repetition of 'something' in this stanza emphasizes the point that the sandpiper does not know what he is looking for. Though in the end, the poor bird is rewarded for his obsession. The universe opens up to him. The grains open up him. "The millions of grains are black, white, tan, and gray colors are mixed with quartz grains, rose and amethyst." In conclusion, the sand piper found his world in millions of grains of sand. Just like how Blake said "It is possible to see a world in a grain of sand". The sandpiper, coincidentally also a student of Blake, in the end found his world. His search completed. ?? ?? ?? ?? Zain Khan Y11-4 ...read more.

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