Sylvia Plath Poetry Analysis

Topics: Poetry, Poetry, John Keats Pages: 8 (1757 words) Published: March 28, 2018


There are a multitude of techniques used by poets to make their poetry both pithy and complex. Due to the limitations of certain poetic forms, poets may be forced to use the devices of meter and blunt diction to accurately express their sentiments. Some poets may choose to use allusions to relate a number of scenarios to a certain theme, utilizing the historical context of these scenarios as further material for interpretation. Other poets may choose to the opposite approach to economy, intentionally writing little but carefully using diction and metaphor to allow the reader to “say a lot” by interpreting the work in a number of different ways. The poets John Keats, W.H. Auden, and Sylvia Plath all use these techniques in their poetry, with...

Plath structures many of her poems around extremely specific situations. In “Two Views of a Cadaver Room” the scenario is a dissection, while in “The Eye-mote” she focuses on her experience with a splinter to the eye. Using these personal experiences allows Plath to quickly express the emotions and preconceived notions associated with each event. For instance, she begins “Two Views of a Cadaver Room” by saying “The day she visited the dissecting room / They had four men laid out, black as burnt turkey” (Plath 1-2). Within the first two lines, Plath uses a simile that evokes a strong visceral reaction. She accomplishes this reaction in such a small space by beginning with the presentation a detailed situation, knowing that she can skip a larger explanation because the reader will have previous knowledge of the scenario. In the context of “Two Views of a Cadaver Room”, Plath is able to provide a commentary on death within the first two lines by relying on the reader to project their own notions of a cadaver room onto the situation presented. Essentially, the effect of this economy of expression is that it creates extremely vivid imagery quickly, taking the reader by surprise and introducing the unexpected into the poem. Sylvia Plath’s use of specific scenarios automatically directs the reader to the exact reaction she wants them to have, and this specificity allows her to address these deep themes...
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