“Black Rook in Rainy Weather” by Sylvia Plath
I an infrequently lost for words. I like to think of myself as quite an eloquent and articulate speaker and writer, but there are times when I feel neither. It is ironic that the very subject of this poem, a lack of words, or rather a lack of inspiration, is exactly what is holding me back from writing the things I would like to write. Although I know how this poem makes me feel and I know the emotions it conveys, I cannot bring myself to write about them or to speak about them, I simply cannot find the words. Each time I read the poem a rush of thoughts dash through my mind, so quickly that I cannot recollect them in time to consider them in the detail they deserve. This poem deserves consideration, thought, analysis, it deserves appreciation and admiration, because it describes exactly how even the most expressive and eloquent writers are sometimes at a loss for words.
Although the poem is a metaphor and is about many things that lie deep beneath the surface of the words, it is beautifully written even in the most literal terms. Plath uses adjectives to describe every object, every movement of the poem, ‘stiff twig’, ‘spotted leaves’. She uses many other poetic devices, such as alliteration in the lines ‘rare, random’, ‘walk wary’, ‘so shine as to seize my senses’ and personification in the lines ‘mute sky’ , ‘minor light may still lean incandescent’. The poet also uses short phrases broken by commas to increase the tempo of the poem and to give it a rushed feeling.
However, these poetic devices are not simply used to embellish a purely literal piece of writing. They are used to demonstrate the beauty of the mundane, the magnificence of the ordinary. The poet says ‘I do not expect a miracle or an accident’ which suggests that she is content with the mundane and can see it’s splendour. But as the poem progresses we see that she could not survive on the ordinary, but needed to express herself...
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