|Keywords||Depression, Disease and Health, Hospitalization, Loneliness, Pain, Suffering|
This short poem, one of a series entitled "A Catch of Shy Fish," describes an old sick man whose life is "closing in" and who feels only pain ("mind is a little isle") until there enters "an impudence of red," flowers that, for him become a "ripe rebuke," a "burgeoning affluence" that "mocks [him] and "mocks the desert of my bed."
With remarkable economy (the poem has 7 lines), the speaker gets at the isolation and loneliness that pain causes and the difficulty of a sick (and presumably dying) person who is confronted with life and color. This poem would be useful paired with Sylvia Plath’s Tulips, a poem about an adult who is recovering from surgery and is angry when the isolation of her pain is jarred by a vase of red tulips. The question of caring for sick and recovering people (and their sometimes puzzling resentment) can be profitably discussed using these poems.
|Publisher||The David Company|
|Alternate Source||The Bean Eaters|
|Alternate Publisher||Harper & Row|
|Place Published||New York|
|Miscellaneous||The David Company’s address is: P.O. Box 19355, Chicago, IL 60619.|
|Annotated by||Stanford, Ann Folwell|
|Date of Entry||09/16/97|