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In the Waiting Room

In the Waiting Room


by Elizabeth Bishop

Stanza 4 Summary

Get out the microscope, because we’re going through this poem line-by-line.

Lines 90-93

The waiting room was bright
and too hot. It was sliding
beneath a big black wave,
another, and another.

  • Poor Elizabeth. She snaps back to reality, and is overwhelmed by the bright lights and heat of the waiting room.
  • Once again, she uses her imagination. She feels as if the entire room and everything in it is being carried out to sea by a series of dark waves.
  • This is not a happy girl, and these waves could be a metaphor for a lot of scary and dark things, maybe even death itself.

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