Thursday, January 26, 2012


I am in need of music that would flow
Over my fretful, feeling finger-tips,
Over my bitter-tainted, trembling lips,
With melody, deep, clear, and liquid-slow.
Oh, for the healing swaying, old and low,
Of some song sung to rest the tired dead,
A song to fall like water on my head,
And over quivering limbs, dream flushed to glow!

There is a magic made by melody;
A spell of rest, and quiet breath, and cool
Heart, that sinks through fading colors deep
To the subaqueous stillness of the sea,
And floats forever in a moon-green pool,
Held in the arms of rhythm and of sleep.

Elizabeth Bishop.

I chose this poem because I thought it was really funny that right after I read a "Sestina" poem, I found a "Sonnet" poem.  I almost wonder if Bishop feels that she needs to point the poem form out to us.  Or maybe she is suggesting that her Sonnet is the Sonnet.

I think the speaker of this poem means it as a tribute to music.  The speaker says that music calms her fretful finger-tips and her trembling lips.  It also heals people, and rests the tired dead.  In this poem music puts all tired and strained things to rest and at ease.  The sleep that the speaker mentions in the last line seems too rested, calm, and eternal to be regular sleep though... But if death is emphasized in this poem, I don't yet know what the speaker means to express about it.

Literary Terms
-Sonnet: This poem is in the form of a sonnet.
-Alliteration in this poem creates a soothing, calming, feel, like music, and exhibits the very quality of music that the speaker is talking about.  Examples: "fretful, feeling finger-tips... bitter-tainted, trembling lips," "some song sung," "quiet breath, and cool," "subaqueous stillness of the sea," "floats forever"
-Heroic Line: Every line in this sonnet is a heroic line.
-Cheville: "Oh," in line 5 may be a Cheville.
-Inversion: In my opinion "Over" (2), "Over" (3), "Heart, that" (11), "sinks through" (11), "fading" (11), "colors" are all inversions.
-Trochee: "Over" (2), "Over" (3)