by Elizabeth Bishop
(5) Tree Line
Let's face it, this poem is pretty wacky right from the beginning. It's fairly obvious that Elizabeth Bishop's "The Man-Moth" isn't about some exotic hybrid creature, but there are a lot of metaphors and symbols to wade through on the way to understanding what the poem is really talking about. Luckily, Bishop's language is clear, and while some of the words may suggest more than one interpretation, it's not too difficult to squeeze some sense out the poem without having to reach for the oxygen tank.