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Unformatted text preview: "Filling Station" (1965), one of Bishop's more whimsical poems, offers a snoopy inventory of elements in the life of a working-class family. Soiled with the grease inherent to their trade, they exist in "a disturbing, over-all / black translucency," another example of illustrative paradox. In the third stanza, the poet-speaker moves into the private realm of family life, including the oil-stained family's dog. The fourth stanza introduces evidence of sensibility in comic books, a doily atop a drum-shaped table, and a hairy begonia. As though questioning the individual's right to examine a life, the poet-speaker reaches a peak of interest with three parallel questions: "Why the extraneous plant? / Why the taboret? / Why, oh why, the doily?" The answer lies in the "somebody" who loves the father and sons. Bishop extends domesticity to an image of murmuring, a shelf of oil cans whispering "Esso-so-so-so," a play on the...
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This note was uploaded on 11/23/2011 for the course ENG 101 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Texas State.
- Fall '08