The Fish Summary & Analysis
by Elizabeth Bishop

The Fish Summary & Analysis
by Elizabeth Bishop

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"The Fish" first appeared in Elizabeth Bishop's 1946 collection North & South. In this poem, a speaker catches a huge, astonishing fish and becomes fascinated with its primordial strangeness. When the speaker sees hooks caught in the fish's lip and realizes this ancient creature has already escaped five other fishers, the speaker decides, in a burst of joy, to let the fish go again. The poem celebrates the power and beauty of nature while also examining the ways that, to a human being, an animal can at once seem totally alien and deeply familiar.

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