Sylvia Plath, Personal Response

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Plath views the world in an insightful and unusual way. She has a meticulous eye for detail which is evident in all her poems. Her poetry is confessional, in the sense that it is often an obsessive analysis of herself. The exploration of identity is apparent in poems that I have studied. These poems are ‘Morning Song’, ‘Child’, ‘Black Rook in Rainy Weather’ (BRR), ‘Mirror’ and ‘The Arrival of the Bee Box’ (ABB). These poems are intriguing and narrate the world around Plath. As her poetry is often confessional, the tone is sometimes melancholic, her honesty is visceral, yet her writing is beautiful.

The theme of beauty and love is explored by Plath in ‘Morning Song’ and ‘Child’. These poems are joyous celebrations of the birth of her children. In ‘Morning Song’; “Love set you going like a fat gold watch”

The imagery here is unusual, yet Plath portrays the fragility of a child and the value that it holds. This poem explores Plath’s introduction to motherhood, and whether she will make a good mother, “Your nakedness shadows our safety”. The arrival of new life is juxtaposed with fear and effectively, the unknown. Plath’s own personal issues cloud this celebratory moment and turn the poem into a gloomy atmosphere. As they “stand around blankly”, unaware as to what to do it is interesting to see how they will adapt to the unfamiliar. Plath appears to look like a mother “I stumble from bed cow-heavy and floral

In my Victorian nightgown”
Her body has adapted, now Plath must adjust her mental state to this aesthetic moment in life. By the end of ‘Morning Song’, Plath begins to acknowledge the beauty of the child “the clear vowels rise like balloons”, yet she maintains awareness that this new arrival is fragile.

Similarly, ‘Child’ deals with unusual, striking imagery and acknowledges the innocence of the childs world “Your clear eye is the one absolutely beautiful thing”. The child’s innocence is captured evocatively, it is unaware of the “troublous” times to...
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