Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Osundare, Olawaniyi

Second Advisor

Loomis, Catherine

Third Advisor

Murphy, Kay


Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979) was a Pulitzer-prize winning American poet who did not produce much published work in her career. This was partly due to her low confidence, depression, alcoholism, and difficult personal life, but it was also due to her meticulousness as a poet. Colleagues and critics praised her strong description and mastery of technique, but criticized her early work as lacking depth. While appearing simple, her early works present complex themes of dualism and isolation. Using characteristics of the carnivalesque and the grotesque, her poetry explores these concepts and the need to cover them. This study's close analysis of four works ("From the Country to the City, " "Cirque d'Hiver, " "Pink Dog, " and "The Man-Moth") reveals characteristics of the carnivalesque and the grotesque, adding a previously unnoticed depth to her early work.


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