© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Fish

The Fish


by Elizabeth Bishop

The Fish Humility Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Line)

Quote #1

battered and venerable (line 8)

The fact that the fish is beat up makes him worthy of the speaker's respect somehow. If you respect something/someone you're humbled by it, right?

Quote #2

I admired his sullen face, (line 45)

This line works the same way line 8 does. The speaker respects and admires this fish, and therefore is becoming humbled by him.

Quote #3

Like medals with their ribbons
frayed and wavering,
a five-haired beard of wisdom (lines 60-62)

OK, so he's gone from a fish to a straight-up wise old man. The respect for this fish has only grown over the course of the poem.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...