Plath

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Upon reading Plath’s poetry it becomes very clear that the vast majority of her poetry revolves around self-identity. Be it in “Mirror”, where she uses metaphors such as a mirror and a lake to represent self-reflection, or in “Poppies in July”, where she reflects on her own suffering. In “Child” she shows her concern for how her mental state could affect her child. “Black Rook in Rainy Weather” shows her innermost thoughts and feelings. Plath’s poetry tends to be brutally honest explorations of her deepest fears and desires, which can both shock and excite her readers. A lot of Plath’s poetry deals with mental anguish and self-reflection. It is inevitable that we would read her poetry as autobiographical considering that she later committed suicide. One poem in particular that deals with mental anguish is “Poppies in July”. In this poem, Plath discusses issues regarding excessive emotions or wishing for annihilation, “A mouth jut bloodied. Little bloody skirts!” Plath seems to desire a life of intense experience, even to the point of suffering, “If I could bleed, or sleep!” The Title of the poem alone is an association with death and war as a poppy is the remembrance flower. It also can be said that the poppy refers to drugs which can lead to addiction and possibly inevitable death, “where are your opiates?” It is not that she is not in pain: she just can’t feel it, which brings its own anguish “there are fumes that I cannot touch”. It is quite obvious that Plath longs for release from her number state. The predominance of broad vowel sounds mirror the poet’s lethargic and numbed state of being. Yet Plath manages to juxtapose these broad vowel sounds with the more lively, slender sounds used to describe the flowers, “Little poppies, little hell flames”. Another poem where her mental anguish is very obvious is in “The Arrival of the Bee Box”. This poem refers to releasing her fears and facing them, “If I just undid the lock and stood back… tomorrow I will be...
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