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The Milkfish Gatherers Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 28 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Milkfish Gatherers.
This section contains 3,032 words
(approx. 8 pages at 400 words per page)
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Lines 1-4:

In this opening stanza, Fenton personifies the sea, allowing it to take on human characteristics. The sea "sounds insincere," sets an ominous tone for the poem. The word "insincere," coupled with its "giving" and "taking," prompts caution and distrust. It is a source of destruction, stopping the flow of the river. The physical setting of the poem is a place where the sea is unpredictable and unfriendly. If the poem is read as a metaphor for the writing and reception of poetry in contemporary times, the sea could be a raft of critics or a fickle audience giving and taking praise on a whim. This kind of sea stops a flow of descent literature, the "river," and fills the "mouth" of the poet "with sand." The sand prevents the art of poetry, reducing it to mediocrity.

Lines 9-12:

The stevedore, the want-to-be revolutionary/ poet, is flushed...

(read more from the Poem Summary section)

This section contains 3,032 words
(approx. 8 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Milkfish Gatherers Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
The Milkfish Gatherers from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.