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Questions of Travel

Questions of Travel

by Elizabeth Bishop

The Home Theme

"Questions of Travel" asks a whole lot of questions about exploration and travel. You pretty much know this much if you've read the title. But what you might not know from the title is that the poem also asks a whole lot of questions about the home—what a home is, where a home can be, what a home means to an individual. The poem, in many ways, sets up the home as the opposite of worldwide travel and exploration. But you also could interpret the poem differently. Perhaps the home is not a place. Perhaps home is where the heart is. (Okay, we admit it, we're a little cheesy.)

Questions About The Home

  1. How does the poem define "the home"?
  2. Does the poem tell us where the speaker's home is? If so, where? 
  3. Does the speaker prefer staying home to traveling the world? Why? 
  4. Is the meaning of "home" in the last two lines of the poem different than the meaning of "home" earlier in the poem? If so, how?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

The speaker of the poem is like Dorothy. For her, there's no place like home, and she wants to get there, fast.

The speaker of the poem is an anti-Dorothy. She is not in a rush to get home, because she realizes that home is always in her heart.

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