4 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2019
    1. Since Uncle Arthur fired a bullet into him, he hadn't said a word. He kept his own counsel on his white, frozen lake, the marble-topped table. His breast was deep and white, cold and caressable; his eyes were red glass, much to be desired.

      In the second stanza, the child refers and focuses on the stuffed loon. The speaker, being a child, animates the loon, hoping that it had something to say. But it doesn't so he tells himself that he is merely keeping his thoughts to himself. The child likens the marble topped table to its original environment. Then talks about the features of the stuffed animal. It's breast being cold and caressable referring the fact that it's stuffed. Cold because it was lifeless but still caressable because the body is still there, almost frozen in time.

      She also mentions that its red glass eye is much to be desired. I'm not sure what this means but with reference to Arthur's dead body and the last line in the poem as well as both the picture of the royalty and the loon having open eyes - what's desirable is the despite not being there at all, these things seem immortalized because their eyes are open while Arthur had his eyes closed clearly signifying the harsh reality that he is dead.

    2. In the cold, cold parlor my mother laid out Arthur beneath the chromographs: Edward, Prince of Wales, with Princess Alexandra, and King George with Queen Mary. Below them on the table stood a stuffed loon shot and stuffed by Uncle Arthur, Arthur's father.


      Arthur has recently passed away. In the opening scene, we see him being laid out by the speaker's mother in the parlor under what are essentially pictures or photographic prints of British royalty. And then under those pictures is a stuffed loon (aquatic bird). Bishop then follows this with the detail of the loon being shot and stuffed with the dead boy's dad of the same name - Arthur.

      I find it interesting that the speaker would notice that he is placed under static objects which don't even embody life. The prints of royalty and the loon - including Arthur, all of them seem so still and dead. Like mere shells left behind of what they once were.

    1. keys

      Becomes an extended metaphor for the loss of other things the poet loves such as past homes and relationships

    2. Write it!

      The poet’s internal command ("Write it!") alerts us to a couple of things: first of all, this is a very self-aware nod to the fact that the poet is writing a poem; secondly, it shows us that she has difficulty admitting the pain of her loss, even to herself.