Off-topic request for opinion from all you literary types

Gili Bar-Hillel gbhillel at netvision.net.il
Sun Jan 9 15:14:08 EST 2005


I have a little disagreement with someone, about the reading two particular
lines in the poem "Sestina" by Elizabeth Bishop. I'd appreciate it if you
could read the poem (which we both think is a lovely one), mull it over a
little, then go down and read the questions after the spoiler space. Our
argument has to do with how a typical English speaker would read the poem,
neither of us qualify.

Full text of the poem can be found here:
http://www.sccs.swarthmore.edu/users/03/ahead/sestina.html
and several other places online.


S
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P
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S
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D
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1. In the first line of the second stanza, the poem refers to "equinoctial
tears". Please give a synonym for "equinoctial" which you think could be
appropriate for the poem.

2. How do you read the lines:

She shivers and says she thinks the house
feels chilly, and puts more wood in the stove.

Please rewrite this in your own words.


I'll wait for a few responses to come in, and then explain our argument.
Your input will be much appreciated.

Gili












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