The Endless Search of the Sandpiper
In the poem, Sandpiper, the focus is of a sandpiper which is a bird that lives mainly on the coasts of North America. The author, Elizabeth Bishop, writes about this particular bird running up and down the beach in search for something, but she never tells the reader exactly what. She tells that the bird is constantly looking for something throughout, mentioning it four times in this relatively short poem. Elizabeth Bishop wants the reader to wonder what it is that the sandpiper is looking for. She continues, describes the ocean as it rises and falls, washing the sandpiper’s feet, then retreating and through the tiny grains of sand down and back into the vastness of the Atlantic, all the while the sandpiper is looking.
At just a glance the poem seems to just be about a sandpiper. However, with close inspection it is about more than that. It seems as if to be about people in the world. Perhaps the sandpiper is a metaphor for humanity, running up and down the beaches in a chaotic, seemingly controlled state of panic as she words it. The small strip of beach the sandpiper runs on is humanity’s world, made up of billions and billions of tiny pieces of rock and sand. All different shades of tan, gray, and white, but only by taking the time to stop and look closer may people see the smallest details that surround them. These small grains continually come and go with each wave that runs ashore. She goes on to tell of the different composition of the sand and how the bird looks at the smallest detail and describes the different colors and types of rock that make up the its habitat.
It isn’t until the end of her poem that one realizes the importance she emphasizes on this search of the sandpiper. The last stanza tells that the bird is in search of something. She states, “looking for something, something, something. / Poor bird, he is obsessed! / The millions of grains are black, white, tan, and gray / mixed with...