Time and Uncertainty in Elizabeth Bishop's Poems

in KronoScope
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Abstract

Bishop's poems often link the sense of time to specific emotional tones and levels of awareness of varying degrees. In particular, the poems demonstrate not only the forward movement of linear time, but also the merger of present and past to brighten feelings of loss and to provide a sense of security that counters feelings of uncertainty common in a world where change occurs over time. Feelings of anxiety over loss and uncertainty reside in the poems, but at the same time, a positive feeling of well-being (outright joy or peace and solace) surfaces as the speaker intertwines comforting pleasant past moments with her anxious present, making the past and present indistinguishable and creating an unclear sense of time.

KronoScope

Journal for the Study of Time

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