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Classic and Contemporary Poetry: Explained

FILLING STATION, by         Recitation     Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography

Elizabeth Bishop's poem "Filling Station" is a complex portrayal of a mundane and ordinary location that is often overlooked - a gas station. Published in 1965, the poem is structured in six stanzas and written in free verse, allowing for a loose and meandering tone that perfectly suits the chaotic environment of the filling station.

The poem begins with a detailed description of the station, highlighting its dirtiness and disarray. However, as the poem progresses, the speaker begins to reveal more details about the owner and workers of the station. The reader learns that despite the surface-level chaos, there is a clear sense of order and care among the individuals who work there.

Bishop also uses various literary techniques to convey the theme of the poem, such as the use of vivid imagery and specific details to create a sense of place. Additionally, the juxtaposition of the mundane with the unexpected - such as the line "Somebody embroidered the doily" - creates a sense of surprise and adds depth to the portrayal of the filling station.

Overall, "Filling Station" is a masterful example of Bishop's ability to find beauty and meaning in the ordinary. The poem offers a poignant commentary on the human capacity for order and care even in the midst of chaos and grime.


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