Use of Color Imagery in Elizabeth Bishop's “The Fish” Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979) was a great American poet of the middle part of the twentieth century. She wrote a wide variety of poetry which was collected in various editions both during her life and after her death. One of her most well-known poems is “The Fish.” This is a seemingly simple and straightforward poem about the catching of a fish, but it has some interesting elements in it. We will show in this paper that the poem uses a lot of color imagery, and we will discover that this produces a strong effect by the end of the poem where the imagery all comes together in the image of the rainbow. The poem uses simple and easy to understand images. It is not easy to tell what the theme...The end:
.....the pool of bilge where oil had spread a rainbow around the rusted engine to the bailer rusted orange the sun-cracked thwarts, the oarlocks on their strings, the gunnels – until everything was rainbow, rainbow, rainbow! (ll. 65-76) There are many ways of looking at a poem, such as theme, style, genre, and so forth. “The Fish” contains a simple theme and is written in a plain but clear style. Its use of color imagery is one aspect that adds to the interest of the poem and makes it one of Bishop's classics. Little by little, it builds up on the use of color imagery as it moves along to its rainbow colored conclusion. Work Cited Bishop, Elizabeth. “The Fish.” In Elizabeth Bishop: The Complete Poems 1927-1979. London: Chatto & Windus, 2004.