Andrew has actually a keen interest in all elements of poetry and writes extensively on the subject. His poems are released online and also in print.

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Elizabeth Bishop and A an overview of In The waiting Room

In The wait Room is a long, ninety nine line, five stanza city that focuses on the reaction the a young girl who, whilst wait for her Aunt Consuelo in the dentist's wait room, picks up a National geographical magazine and looks at the pictures.

From that moment on the poem takes the reader into the mind of this young six year old, captivated and also slightly horrified by what she sees in the adult magazine.


She is tho in the wait room, aware of all that goes on about her - she hears she Aunt Consuelo scream - however emotionally she is transported come a different place.

In The waiting Room starts and also ends with directly facts. The reader knows exactly where and when this small girl's emotionally state starts to change. She will certainly soon thrive up and become a woman, a linked member of the human race. However it won't be easy, choose a visit to the dentist.

Elizabeth Bishop's mix the literal and figurative language combine to create a fascinating insight into what it means to come that age.


In The waiting Room

In Worcester, Massachusetts,

I went through Aunt Consuelo

to save her dentist's appointment

and sat and waited because that her

in the dentist’s waiting room.

It was winter. It acquired dark

early. The wait room

was full of grown-up people,

arctics and overcoats,

lamps and magazines.

My aunt to be inside

what seemed like a long time

and while ns waited ns read

the National geographical

(I can read) and carefully

studied the photographs:

the within of a volcano,

black, and full the ashes;

then it was spilling over

in rivulets of fire.


Osa and also Martin Johnson

dressed in speak breeches,

laced boots, and also pith helmets.

A dead male slung on a pole

--“Long Pig," the subtitle said.

Babies with pointed heads

wound round and also round with string;

black, naked women with necks

wound round and also round through wire

like the necks of light bulbs.

Their breasts to be horrifying.

I read it best straight through.

I was as well shy come stop.

And then i looked at the cover:

the yellow margins, the date.

Suddenly, native inside,

came an oh! the pain

--Aunt Consuelo’s voice--

not very loud or long.


I wasn’t at all surprised;

even then ns knew she was

a foolish, timid woman.

I can have been embarrassed,


but wasn’t. What took me

completely by surprise

was that it was me:

my voice, in mine mouth.

Without thinking at all

I was my foolish aunt,

I--we--were falling, falling,

our eyes glued to the cover

of the National Geographic,

February, 1918.

I claimed to myself: 3 days

and you’ll be 7 years old.

I to be saying it come stop

the emotion of falling off

the round, transforming world

into cold, blue-black space.


But i felt: you are an I,

you space an Elizabeth,

you are one of them.

Why need to you it is in one, too?

I scarcely dared to look

to see what that was i was.

I gave a sidelong glance

--I couldn’t look any higher--

at shadowy gray knees,

trousers and skirts and also boots

and various pairs that hands


lying under the lamps.

I knew that nothing stranger

had ever happened, the nothing

stranger can ever happen.

Why must I it is in my aunt,

or me, or anyone?

What similarities--

boots, hands, the household voice

I felt in my throat, or even


the National Geographic

and those awful hanging breasts--

held us all together

or made us all simply one?

How--I didn’t recognize any

word because that it--how “unlikely”. . .

How had I concerned be here,

like them, and overhear

a cry of pain that could have

got loud and worse however hadn’t?

The wait room was bright

and also hot. It to be sliding

beneath a huge black wave,

another, and another.

Then ns was ago in it.

The battle was on. Outside,

in Worcester, Massachusetts,


were night and slush and also cold,

and it to be still the fifth


of February, 1918.

Analysis of In The waiting Room Stanza through Stanza

First Stanza (lines 1-35)

The scene is set. A small girl sit in the dentist's wait room. She Aunt Consuelo is 'inside' being worked on by the dentist. This is a straightforward enough start for the reader, we're even told the name of the town and also the state together if the speaker wants to nail specifically where that is the event took place.

Simple start, simple language. Yet together the first stanza progresses the small girl i do not care increasingly conscious of the slightly opening atmosphere. She notices the early dark, the get an impressive ups, her aunt being a lengthy time. To keep boredom in ~ bay she picks up a national Geographic. She's only six yet she's may be to review what is one adult magazine. Precocious child? Maybe.

The pictures signify the imminent change. First an erupting volcano, climate an eccentric couple, climate a dead male who can be a enjoy the meal for cannibals, and also pointy top babies, black naked women through saggy breasts and strange lengthy necks - the pictures pile up and overwhelm the innocent girl.

She's too self-conscious to protect against reading and looking therefore she goes v the entirety magazine before studying the cover, which seems to frame, like a picture frame, every one of the images. The breasts in particular.

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Second Stanza (lines 36-53)

The leader is progressively taken into the psychic of the girl, concentrated on the pages that the national Geographic but then a cry of pains from she aunt brings the speaker back into the fact of the waiting room. This fact is short-lived however.