Tulips by Sylvia Plath

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Tulips by Sylvia Plath

Tulips, by Sylvia Plath seems to be a poetic expression of depression. The speaker who I assume is Plath is describing the psychological effects after a surgical procedure,which I feel is the time when sadly Plath miscarried her baby. The poem was written through her own view in a hospital room, where the reader is given an insight to the inner thoughts of a woman who has gone through a terrible ordeal, and the objects around her which influence her mentality. The poem follows Plath's admission into hospital and the heart-rendering account of her attempt to recover.

There are nine stanzas in the poem, each with five lines, there is no evident rhyme pattern and there is little structure to the poem, although the lack of organization in each stanza seems to be a reflection of the confusion and the loss of control that Plath feels, the only structure shared between the stanzas is the abundance of punctuation, creating a slow rhythm throughout the poem, although Plath uses alliteration to increase fluency in parts of the poem, “plastic-pillowed”, “water went” and “light lies on white walls”. Plaths tone is serene throughout the poem, however there is a sarcastic tone when she says “The tulips are too excitable, it is winter here”. The tone of the poem starts out as depressed and bleak then changes into more dynamic and hopeful and the imagery more surreal: “the mouth of some great African cat”. In the first two stanzas, Plath talks about the situation and her surroundings, whereas the rest of the stanzas reveal her feelings.

The most symbolic item in the poem is the tulips, their colour is the first contrast brought to light, they are red and they clash with the white room, they drink in her oxygen and fill the room with life, she describes how nice it had been before the tulips came in and robbed her peaceful isolation. Their redness reminded her of her wound and the tulips lightly breathing through their white swaddling reminds her...
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