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The Inward I

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Title: The Inward I
Authors: Fujioka, Stewart
Issue Date: 15 Jan 2014
Publisher: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract: The monologue, which Park Honan calls "a single discourse by one whose presence is indicated by the poet but who is not the poet himself,"1 allows Elizabeth Bishop (1911-79) to range widely with her imagination, re-creating mythical, fictional, and historical characters, places, times, and even to speak with authority in the voices of persons of the opposite sex. As Bishop says in an interview in Shenandoah magazine, in the monologue, "You can say all kinds of things you couldn't in a lyric. If you have scenery and costumes, you can get away with a lot."2 In three of her monologues, "The Riverman," "From Trollope's Journal,"3 and "Crusoe in England,"4 Bishop gets away with emancipating us as readers from our everyday reliance on the literal and empirical truth; what Richard Wilbur calls "her capacity for navigating the irrational"5 allows us to be with Bishop's characters in faraway, illogical places and times. The Riverman, who is contemporary, lives in Brazil; Trollope speaks from Washington, D.C., but his monologue is dated 1861 (one hundred years prior to the poem's initial publication in the Partisan Review); Crusoe is a seventeenth century man who takes us from England to an even farther off island, then back to England. Although Bishop demolishes time and space limitations to make us feel as if we are hearing the voices of real people, we, in experiencing these poems, must still come to terms with the nature of real and imagined space and time, and the problem of truth and fiction.
Pages/Duration: 43 pages
Rights: All UHM Honors Projects are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections:Honors Projects for English

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