The Fisherman

Down by the sea, the fisheries
reek bonita–reek
sea bass
and an ancient black fisherman
with a crab basket–full
brimming red snapper and flounder and perch.
Under the aged pier
patient fishery cats are waiting
to ravage his “catch.”

Squabbling sea gulls sit near
the once noble mariner.
And, dried up starfish,
washed up kelp,
litter the shore.

Over by the surf
in putrid holes, in rotting piles,
garbage–The ancient fisherman
tosses intestines, tails, heads
into the crimson dusk.

American Poetry Annual. 1988.
Copyright © 1987 Janice Kollitz

30 responses to “The Fisherman

  1. It must have been very nice for the poet to witness this thing during the early morning hours, I wish I was there.

  2. I really like how this poem is well written although it was kind of hard for me to understand.

  3. Im not to sure of the meaning to this poem but I think it says.
    That as time goes on life goes on and if you contiune to stay on the same path. You will become old and weathered with people waiting around the cornor for your scraps and leftovers. You will witness the slow dispair of the people around you as time goes on.

  4. This poem was well written but hard for me to comprehend.However, I did understand the part where he caught the fish and the cats were sitting next to him waiting for him, because they want to eat the fish.

  5. I though that this was a very well written poem. The message was a little hard to grasp for me though.

  6. This a a difficult poem to have in my mind. But i understood it as everything seems good in the beginning but in the end we are just making more of a mess then we started out.

  7. Because i love fishing, i had to read this excerpt. I actually had to read it over a few times to really get it. What i did love was the melody of the poem. The rhythm and how it flows made the picture vivid for me.

  8. I truly enjoyed this poem because of the excellent use of imagery! You could really envision everything as you read along.

  9. i did not understand the poem at first, but after reading it a second time it became clear to me.

  10. Painters always have a sense of imagation and being able to put something on paper and draw something creative is really amazing.

  11. okay, poem kind of hard to put together and understand, but at the end it makes sense.

  12. Hmm…its definately interesting and paints a picture. I guess thats the point right? It’s a true depiction of a day in the life of an avid fisherman. Dirty, stinky and slimy!

  13. It made me wonder if this is how Picasso use to sketch before a masterpiece. at least it made me want to go draw it.

  14. I believe this poem paints a perfectly good picture of what goes on at a typical fisherman’s beach. Has potential of a great Painting.

  15. As i was reading the poem, it started out nice and fresh but as you read down it starts getting more negative. It’s a really interesting poem.

  16. this poem plainly describes the life of a fisherman. which i definately am not! i totally dislike fishing…..and i really dont even like to eat fish in itself. Like a previous comment had said…it also grosses me out to devain shrimp!! eww it makes me loose my appetite just thinking about it.

  17. The choice of words are very well thought out! That’s the one thing I really respect and love poetry for; Every word is taken into consideration and every word is selected for a specific purpose. Anyways, I love how bold and atmospheric this poetry portrays but a small snip-bit of a fisherman’s life. It is very profound.

  18. i was envisioning the beach and seafood (i love seafood!) then i got to the end of the poem and lost my appetite.

  19. This poem is great. When I was reading it, I found myself having a vivid image in my head. I love it when I’m able to picture things in my mind; whether it’s a poem or a story it’s my favorite.

  20. Ok, this is the side of food preparation and acquisition that I would rather not know about. I get grossed out when I have to de-vain a shrimp. So this is to much information.

  21. this poem portrays the end of the day for a fisherman. During the summers would spend in the south after you caught the fish ou would have to scale them, and cut their heads off;sometimes they were still alive.

  22. I think the poem is decpiting the life of a fisherman and what the things he can encounter on a daily basis.

  23. Wouldnt it be easier if the fisherman just gave the scraps to the cats. It would have prevented the rotten waste.

  24. I’ve noticed that most of these poems were written by Professor Kollitz. Theres no doubt she got published in almost every place she submitted her poem to.

  25. This reminds me of the book I had to read in high school, Old Man and the Sea. It had all those pages of details and an immense amount of waiting for the big catch.

  26. Nice work Janice. Sounds like the simple facts of industry and its effects, but written with alot more thought and style.

  27. i think this poem reflects what a real fisherman’s life is like. living and working in what he loves or hates to do.

  28. I liked the poem, it was a little bit abstract for me, i like my reading and writing very solid and no abstract ideas. I like straight forward.

  29. Vivid colors portrayed in this piece. It reminds me of a Norman Rockwell painting.

  30. I think that because of its referance to fishing and discriptive character. This poem reminds me of Mariann Moore’s poem “The Fish.”

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