Visual Imagery is important in poetry to help the poet express the theme of the poem. There are three types of imagery Bishop uses to express her theme. First, she uses Metaphor. Second she uses Simile, Third, and she uses Personification. The Fish poem is very full of different types of imagery and very vivid in it narrations. This poem depends on its imagery more than any other single element. The speaker alternately convinces us of the fish’s ugliness and its beauty, and in order to achieve this difficult task, she must render the scene in perfect visual detail.
We are left with the impression that the fish is powerful, beautiful, terrible, alive, ancient, and formidable. In order for the fish to be all of those things, the images surrounding it must be carefully controlled. Here we see how the speaker struggles to get the image right, but also to focus on its potential for beauty. She uses several Metaphors in the poem some examples are “fine rosettes of lime…’In this metaphor, she compares the pattern on the scales of the fish to prize giving rosettes. Another example of a metaphor is line the line that states ‘everything was rainbow, rainbow, and rainbow! she compares colorful surface of oily water to a rainbow. There are three similes in six lines, but two of the similes are the same: The fish’s skin is compared twice to wallpaper. It is noteworthy that she compares the fish’s skin to something artificial and inanimate.
Bishop’s poem begins with a tone of aloofness, as if the speaker is saying, “I caught a fish. No big deal. ” The lines are short and clipped. The speaker gradually becomes more descriptive, the tone shifts to accommodate longer, more specific words and looser, more ornamental lines. The speaker’s language becomes more descriptive as the poem progresses and her tone less detached. She uses personification in the poem in two examples that I am going to point out. “a five-haired beard of wisdom trailing from his aching jaw” She compares the five fish-lines on the fish’s jaw to a beard. A beard used to be a sign of a wise old man .
Also another personification in the fish is when she uses the word “vernable” in “battered and venerable” she is comparing the fish to a holy person. As we can see visual imagery is important in poetry to help the poet express the theme of the poem. There are three types of imagery Bishop uses to express her theme she uses metaphors, simile, and she uses personification. On a basic level, this poem is a twist on the classic fishing story. The big one that got away has never been the subject of this kind of contemplation before. It is repulsive and beautiful, powerful and powerless, terrifying and terrified.