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Fulfillment on the Susquehanna: Billy Collins’s Message
Collins’s narrator is trapped in the throes of every day life, and wants to find a way to disconnect himself from the chaos of life and discover a greater cause for living. The initial stanza initiates the reader’s understanding of how trapped the narrator has become in his simplistic routine, and of the need to have for him to break totally free. The lines, “I have in no way been fishing on the Susquehanna or any river for that matter to be perfectly honest” emphasizes the lack of connection that the narrator has had with the globe outside of his or her personal life. The phrase “perfectly honest” suggests that the narrator is almost ashamed of the lack of exploration and freedom in his life and does not want to admit to the reality that he has by no means experienced the world in a manner greater than his personal individual life. This automatically allows the reader to sympathize with the narrator and root for him to accomplish the level of serenity and sensation that he craves so intensely. In the end, it is not so a lot the truth that he has not experienced fishing on the Susquehanna that he is ashamed of, but rather the regretful truth that he has in no way been exposed to the pleasures and serenity that fishing can bring in any type, or on any river. The narrator goes on to elaborate on just how little he knowledgeable outdoors of his person life. He claims that “Not in July or any month have I had the pleasure – if it is a pleasure- of fishing on the Susquehanna.” It is at this point that the tone of the narrator becomes much more sardonic and nearly spiteful he is envious of the reality that he has never ever been given the pleasures of living life a lot more wholly although apparently so a lot of other people have. He questions the validity of people’s claims about what it is like to fish on the river, and in an try to justify his lack of experience, challenges regardless of whether or not fishing on the Susquehanna is indeed a pleasure.
Additionally, the narrator finds himself leading a considerably less fruitful life than that of one particular fishing on the Susquehanna. The narrator depicts his life as a single exactly where he is “more likely to be located in a quiet room like this one – a painting of a woman in the wall, a bowl of tangerines on the table” a dreary and seemingly lonesome assessment. Along with this, these lines depict the narrator’s inability to capture the essence of getting on the Susquehanna and reflect it in his personal life, no matter how desperately he tries. The imagery in these two stanzas also conveys the idea that the narrator feels isolated he sits alone in a area with only a mere bowl of oranges and painting of a woman on the wall to accompany him. Although the narrator doesn’t allude to wanting to have business, his words suggest that he deeply craves being a portion of something that so a lot of other folks have skilled. The narrator has placed himself in a bubble where he is exposed only to his personal individual troubles and experiences and is shut off to the vastness and possibility of the outside. The reader can conclude from this statement that the narrator finds little joy in his every day life and has enabled himself to be closed off to the greatness of the planet. Nevertheless, regardless of the narrator’s inability to function outdoors of their bubble, it is evident that he desires the potential to do so and even attempts to, “manufacture the sensation of fishing on the Susquehanna.” The word “manufacture” carries a very sterile and cold connotation and contributes to the lackluster manner in which the narrator lives his life. The narrator is in such desperate need to have to experience the globe outside himself, that he has attempted to imitate it within his lonely bubble a fruitless try. The poem progresses as does the narrator’s yearning for the pleasures that fishing on the Susquehanna is praised for bringing to men and women who embrace it. The narrator deems that, “there is tiny doubt that other individuals have been fishing on the Susquehanna”, suggesting that even though he is stuck in the squalor of a dull life, others are out embracing the splendors and freedoms of the Susquehanna. The narrator becomes envious of these who have taken the opportunity to welcome the rawness of the planet.
Right after discussing what he imagines it is like to travel along the river and be a part of its beauty the narrator resumes his discussion of how, in spite of his wishes, how distant he has have been from attaining the pleasure and glory that fishing on the Susquehanna can bring. He admit that “the nearest I have ever come to fishing on the Susquehanna was 1 afternoon in a museum in Philadelphia when I balanced an egg of time in front of a painting” a melancholy realization that depicts just how far the narrator is from reaching the river and the joys that it can bring. The notion that the narrator was only in a position to balance a mere “egg of time” suggests that his capacity to connect to the greater which means of the world is minuscule. Along with this is the idea that his only connection was with a painting and not the true planet itself permits the reader to conclude that the narrator is far from attaining the sense of clarity and pleasure that fishing on the Susquehanna has to supply. This realization is so apparent that even the narrator addresses it in the line, “that is some thing I am unlikely to do, I keep in mind saying to myself and the particular person next to me”. Admittedly, the narrator has not opened himself up to accepting the sensations of life and as an alternative has remained a sort of bland and uninteresting figure. The manner in which the narrator addresses the artwork in the second to last stanza contributes to the dullness of his life. The lines “Then I blinked and moved on to other American scenes of haystacks, water whitening more than rocks, even a single of a brown hare who seems so wired with alertness I imagined him springing appropriate out of the frame” convey a feeling of a monotonous and muted life. Haystacks themselves evoke a feeling of dullness, as it is merely a tan pile of dried grass. Similarly, the image of “water whitening over rocks” alludes to a extremely cliché and simplistic interpretation of nature and the world’s surroundings. These are really stereotypical pictures that supply a clue into the simplicity of the narrator’s life and the reasoning for their zealous search for some semblance of newness and pleasure in their life. The only sense of salvation for the narrator comes from the final line of the poem. When the narrator concludes the poem by describing a photo of a hare, he exclaims, “even a single of a brown hare who seemed so wired with alertness I imagined him springing proper out of the frame”. This provides the reader with a hope that the narrator’s ability to envision such a vivid and unrealistic proposition suggests an openness to searching at the globe with a larger point of view and seeing it for far more than just a simplistic platform to live life on.
The narrator of “Fishing on the Susquehanna in July” finds himself paralyzed by a world that revolves around unimportant and minuscule issues that are relevant to him alone. He craves a life in which he can view the globe with a wider scope and develop the ability to see past the materialistic and move into developing a naturalistic perspective on life. Regardless of idealizing the sensation and pleasure that fishing on the Susquehanna in July is said to bring, the narrator is imprisoned by routine and unable to escape from his bubble. He can not see previous himself as an person in the planet therefore, he remains in his bland and fruitless cycle of life.
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