Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in English

First Advisor

Ann Fisher-Wirth

Second Advisor

Gary Short

Third Advisor

Cristin Ellis

Relational Format



While there exists some scholarship affirming the aesthetic and intellectual connections between transcendentalism and the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop, there is to date no substantial study of what role Ralph Waldo Emerson singularly played in the inheritance of that tradition. This essay seeks to validate Emerson as Bishop's literary parentage, an influence that, though not immediately identifiable, greatly shaped her creative process. In so doing, it addresses the critical mistakes which have prevented a thorough discussion of Emerson's relevance and, moreover, negatively dominated the imagination of Bishop scholarship. As an exploration of the writers' shared iconography, their mutual metaphors, the following traces three comsubjects: nature, language, and vision.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.