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Sestina

Sestina

by Elizabeth Bishop

Analysis: Setting

Where It All Goes Down

It was a dark and story night.

Okay, so really it's daytime. And our two characters are cozy in their house. But still, it's September, and there's some rain and chill. So it's not all sunshine and roses on this one.

Think gray afternoons and crunchy leaves. The grandmother and grandchild are crowded around the stove for warmth, waiting for the water to boil. The dread of winter is upon them—they know what's headed their way: brrrness and darkness. Sure, we don't know precisely where they are, but we're thinking New England, or maybe Nova Scotia, where Bishop spent much of her childhood. What dreary place are you dreaming up?

Finally, and most importantly, the house itself is silent and a bit cold. Grandma and kiddo aren't exactly shooting the breeze. There's an ice in the room, and it's not from the autumnal weather.

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