Fish Poems - Poems For Fish
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The Fish - Poem by Elizabeth Bishop
I caught a tremendous fish
and held him beside the boat
half out of water, with my hook
fast in a corner of his mouth.
He didn't fight.
He hadn't fought at all.
He hung a grunting weight,
battered and venerable
and homely. Here and there
his brown skin hung in strips
like ancient wallpaper,
and its pattern of darker brown
was like wallpaper:
shapes like full-blown roses
stained and lost through age.
He was speckled with barnacles,
fine rosettes of lime,
with tiny white sea-lice,
and underneath two or three
rags of green weed hung down.
While his gills were breathing in
the terrible oxygen
- the frightening gills,
fresh and crisp with blood,
that can cut so badly-
I thought of the coarse white flesh
packed in like feathers,
the big bones and the little bones,
the dramatic reds and blacks
of his shiny entrails,
and the pink swim-bladder
like a big peony.
I looked into his eyes
which were far larger than mine
but shallower, and yellowed,
the irises backed and packed
with tarnished tinfoil
seen through the lenses
of old scratched isinglass.
They shifted a little, but not
to return my stare.
- It was more like the tipping
of an object toward the light.
I admired his sullen face,
the mechanism of his jaw,
and then I saw
that from his lower lip
- if you could call it a lip
grim, wet, and weaponlike,
hung five old pieces of fish-line,
or four and a wire leader
with the swivel still attached,
with all their five big hooks
grown firmly in his mouth.
A green line, frayed at the end
where he broke it, two heavier lines,
and a fine black thread
still crimped from the strain and snap
when it broke and he got away.
Like medals with their ribbons
frayed and wavering,
a five-haired beard of wisdom
trailing from his aching jaw.
I stared and stared
and victory filled up
the little rented boat,
from 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!
And I let the fish go.
Comments about The Fish by Elizabeth Bishop
Poems About Fish
- 1. The Fish , Elizabeth Bishop
- 2. Heaven , Rupert Brooke
- 3. The Fish , William Butler Yeats
- 4. To A Fish , James Henry Leigh Hunt
- 5. The Maldive Shark , Herman Melville
- 6. Fish And Shadow , Ezra Pound
- 7. The Fish , Marianne Moore
- 8. Address To Certain Golfishes , Hartley Coleridge
- 9. When Fishes Set Umbrellas Up , Christina Georgina Rossetti
- 10. The Jellyfish , Ogden Nash
- 11. 'Tin Fish' , Rudyard Kipling
- 12. Flying Fish , Carl Sandburg
- 13. The Song Of Hiawatha Viii: Hiawatha's Fi.. , Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
- 14. A Fish Answers , James Henry Leigh Hunt
- 15. The Shepherd Piping To The Fishes , Anne Kingsmill Finch
- 16. Monologue Of A Commercial Fisherman , Alan Dugan
- 17. Our Biggest Fish , Eugene Field
- 18. Fish Food (An Obituary To Hart Crane) , John Brooks Wheelwright
- 19. When The Fishing Boats Go Out , Lucy Maud Montgomery
- 20. Miss Molly And The Little Fishes , Kate Greenaway
- 21. A Wreath To The Fish , Nancy Willard
- 22. The South Wind: A Fisherman's Blessing , Charles Kingsley
- 23. We Fish , Herman Melville
- 24. An Epitaph On A Goldfish , Richard Le Gallienne
- 25. Fishing Song: To J.A. Froude And Tom Hug.. , Charles Kingsley
- 26. The Fishmonger’s Lament , Charles Robert Forrester
- 27. Fishes , Mircea Dinescu
- 28. Salmon-Fishing , Robinson Jeffers
- 29. Fishing , Paul Laurence Dunbar
- 30. Yes, The Fish Music , Richard Brautigan
- 31. Fisherfolk , Robert William Service
- 32. This Is Thy Brother, This Poor Silver Fish , Philip Henry Savage
- 33. Fishin'-Hunger , Edgar Albert Guest
New Fish Poems
- Crooked River Tragedy, Ray Lucero
- Fish N Chips, Peter Hall
- Princess Suri, Aileen Figueroa
- The Big Fish, Small Fish Theorem, Hebert Logerie
- The Brown Urchin, Anwer Ghani
- The Brown Urchin, Anwer Gani
- Flying Fish Fly Escape Predators, Terence George Craddock (aft ..
- Fishing Boats Light Luring Flying Fish, Terence George Craddock (aft ..
- The Whooper, Harold R Hunt Sr
- Fishing In The Muddy Water Anytime And A.., MOHAMMAD SKATI
- carpe diem