In the waiting room. Can you see from this description of her childhood experience any connection between the young Bishop and the poet she will later become? From my reading of the description of Elizabeth Bishop’s childhood experience, I am able to make many connections between the young Bishop and the poet she will later become. I realised that both experience different types of epiphanies, both clutch to familiarity, perceive the world as a perplexing and terrifying place. In ‘In the Waiting Room’ young Elizabeth Bishop experiences a peculiar epiphany in which she quickly connects the ‘black naked women’ to herself. She realises that she, too is a woman and that they are all connected by gender. I think Elizabeth Bishop even from an early sage discovers the harsh truth of reality and that life as a woman will indeed include suffering just like the women ‘with the necks of light bulbs’. She notices also that her aunt Consuelo is in deep pain when an ‘oh!’ escapes her mouth. In ‘Sestina’ the child also makes connections and experiences her own epiphany she quickly realises that she must stay strong despite a terrible trauma that has unfortunately happened to her and her family. She has an epiphany and realises that there is no point inn crying no matter how terrible the loss is to her. Instead of producing tears, she decides it is ‘time to plant tears’ and puts all her confusion and sadness in order to create something beautiful. In ‘The Prodigal’ also the prodigal experiences an epiphany. He realises that there is more to life than cleaning out a pig sty ‘plastered [with] glass-smooth dung’ and learns that there are other dimensions to his life. He knows that no matter what he did or didn’t do, he will always be forgiven by those who loved him dearly. For these reasons, I think there are more connections between the young Bishop and the poet she later becomes.
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