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Filling Station by Elizabeth Bishop
Transcript of Filling Station by Elizabeth Bishop
Oh, but it is dirty!
—this little filling station,
to a disturbing, over-all
Be careful with that match!
Why the extraneous plant?
Why the taboret?
Why, oh why, the doily?
(Embroidered in daisy stitch
with marguerites, I think,
and heavy with gray crochet.)
Somebody embroidered the doily.
Somebody waters the plant,
or oils it, maybe. Somebody
arranges the rows of cans
so that they softly say:
to high-strung automobiles.
Somebody loves us all.
Father wears a dirty,
oil-soaked monkey suit
that cuts him under the arms,
and several quick and saucy
and greasy sons assist him
(it’s a family filling station),
all quite thoroughly dirty.
Do they live in the station?
It has a cement porch
behind the pumps, and on it
a set of crushed and grease-
on the wicker sofa
a dirty dog, quite comfy.
I chose this poem because I am a big fan of Bishop and her work. I actually stumbled upon this poem when I was looking for a POL poem. I almost chose "One Art", but I decided to choose this one instead. I like it because it is a little bit different from her other work.
Thoughts and Feelings
The poem makes me think about these people. I find myself wanting to know about their daily lives.
This poem makes me feel observant and imaginative because I have to really think about the imagery Bishop presents in the poem.
Funny, inspirational, thought provoking, or sorrowful?
The poem is thought provoking because you have to really think about this family. You have to envision what these people look like and you have to think about their lives. It leaves you with more questions about the somebody mentioned in the last stanza.
There is no rhyme scheme in Bishop's poem. She uses blank verse. Only a few lines rhyme throughout the poem.
Based on Jim Harvey's speech structures
Bishop, Elizabeth. "Filling Station." The Complete Poems. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1969. N. pag. Print.
Some comic books provide
the only note of color—
of certain color. They lie
upon a big dim doily
draping a taboret
(part of the set), beside
a big hirsute begonia.
the repetition of why in stanza 5
the repetition of somebody in stanza 6
arranges the rows of cans so that they softly say