A Comparative Essay Of The Poems ‘Salome’ (C.A.Duffy) and ‘The Arrival Of The Bee Box’ (S.Plath)
‘Salome’ by Carol Ann Duffy and ‘The Arrival Of The Bee Box’ by Sylvia Plath have many similarities and differences. ‘Salome’ is ostensibly a poem about an individual, most likely a woman, who wakes up and finds ‘a head on the pillow’ beside them. The poem continues to detail their immediate actions and finally reveals that this head is in fact ‘on a platter’. ‘The Arrival Of The Bee Box’ appears on the surface to describe the empowerment felt by an individual as they explore their control over a box of bees. An interesting similarity is both poets are female. C.A.Duffy was born in Glasgow in 1995 and is the eldest of five children. S.Plath was born in 1932 and was born in Boston. If you read the poems from a biographical perspective it is possible to identify certain factors which the poet has included due to their personal circumstances. Personally, I believe that both C.A.Duffy and S.Plath have points to make. For example, Duffy’s poem could be seen to have many links to the role of woman in society and the power they possess over their male counterparts. This mental attitude, which has filtered through into her poetry, could stem from the fact she is the first women and the first openly gay person to hold the position of Britain’s poet laureate. Similarly, ‘The Arrival Of The Bee Box’ contains subversive ideas of power and possibly connotations to women taking an untraditional role in society. In ‘Salome’ the pace, tone, rhythm and structure are all fractured. This is very effective as it reflects the psychological standing of the voice in the poem. The effect is created through the techniques of enjambment and rhetorical questions and these can be observed in the fifth line “what did it matter?". The line is isolated and this draws the reader’s attention to it. Alongside this the rhetorical question then compels the reader to think “what did it matter?”....
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