Mad Girl’s Love Song, by Sylvia Plath, is a modern poem of love, loss, and distress. Sylvia’s intended purpose of this particular poem was to express the narrator’s dismay of a lost love. After awaiting his return, and finally giving up, she begins to wonder if she had only made him up on the whims of her imagination. Sylvia expresses the meaning of her poem through the use of a unique rhyme scheme, repetition, and a religious allusion.
Sylvia’s rhyme scheme throughout this poem is called a “villanelle,” which is a rare method of writing poetry which involves two repeating lines. The use of this structure in the reoccurrence of the lines “I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead” and “I think I made you up inside my head” contribute to the dramatics of Mad Girl’s Love Song (Plath line 1 and 3). Had Sylvia Plath used another rhyme scheme, her meanings and purposes of the poem may not have been as clear or effective. The structure also makes the poem in general more lyrical and catchy. It helps keep readers interested in the work and rhythm of the poem overall.
As a significant portion of the villanelle scheme of structure, the repetition plays a major role for the poem. Once again, Sylvia repeats just two lines throughout her work. The line “I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead” reoccurs also in lines 6, 12, and 18. The line “I think I made you up inside my head” also reoccurs in lines 9, 15, and 19 (Plath line 1 and 3). This repetition creates a unique and intriguing pattern which keeps readers involved. Also, “I think I made you up inside my head” is presented with parenthesis (Plath line 3). In the reader’s mind, this sparks two emotions; obsession and secrecy. Therefore, the reader can more directly relate to the emotions the author intended.
In Mad Girl’s Love Song, Sylvia makes several biblical references. She describes an apocalypse as “God topples from the sky” and “hell’s fires fade” and “exit seraphim and Satan’s men” (Plath line 10 and...
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