Metaphors by Sylvia Plath

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Pregnancy Metaphors

A group of metaphors could tell a story. The poem, “Metaphors” by Sylvia Plath, would be an example of this. Some may look at this poem and believe it is random metaphors put into nine lines. I believe this is a poem about Plath’s idea of pregnancy as compared to traditionally unrelated objects. “Metaphors” has a clue in each line that would lead the reader to believe that it is depicting the process pregnancy. In the poem “Metaphors”, Plath opens with the line, “I’m a riddle with nine syllables. In this poem there are nine lines, and each line has nine syllables. This gives the reader a sense of importance revolving around the number nine. Also, people associate the number nine with the time span of pregnancy. There is a designed commonality in these, and the author intended for the reader to put these pieces together. The first part of this line, “I’m a riddle” describes the unknowns of pregnancy. “An elephant, a ponderous house,” (2). If we were to break this line down into two parts, the author would first tell us she is an elephant. Elephants are depicted as very large and heavyweight creatures. This could mean that the author thought of herself as that too. When you carry a baby, you begin to get larger, and so the author may have compared herself to the largest land mammals as a way of exaggerating her weight gain from the pregnancy. The second line states that she is a “ponderous house” (2). A house is something that people live in; when the author compares herself to a house, she merely states that something is living inside her. Tendrils are slender threadlike appendages of a climbing plant. “A melon strolling on two tendrils,” (3), describes the mother’s legs as compared to her pregnant body. This line creates imagery in the readers head. A melon is a larger object, which would not be able to stroll on two tendrils. The melon could resemble the baby, which is strolling on the mother’s legs. Just as the melon looks too...
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