plath essay

Submitted By Tilmaj-Omar
Words: 1153
Pages: 5

I strongly agree with this statement Plath is a magnificent, but proudly poignant poet. It is hard to forget that she suffered from severe depression and took her own life, when reading her poetry. It is saturated with pain and sorrow. But what makes her a great poet is the way her subject matter is not only profoundly explored but also beautifully framed in vivid complex images. The best poems to illustrate this are "Finisterre," "Black Rook in Rainy Weather," "Child," "Morning Song" and "Poppies in July." But this statement doesn't cover all her poetry -"Pheasant" and most of "Morning Song"

It seems as if in "Finisterre" Plath describes not only land's end but the end of hope also. She discusses organised religion - the concept in which people find refuge, our last and most powerful hope and resort. But Plath rejects that. This provides us with evidence of how depressed and disillusioned she must have been. Her description of "Our Lady of the Shipwrecked" is cold. According to the poet, there us no point in appealing to

"But she does not hear what the sailor or the peasant is saying, She is in in love with the beautiful formlessness of the sea."

Here Plath comes to the conclusion , that the best we can do is just enjoy what we have and try to make the most of it, but avoid thinking too deeply about it: "These are our crepes. Eat them before

Her surrender and loss of hope is further emphasised by the trivial language in that

The imagery of this poem is spectacularly tragic! Land's end - a place so spectacular and beautiful- symbolises negative notions to Plath. "Fingers knuckled and rheumatic, cramped on nothing." Rheumatic? The view inspires thoughts of pathology and degeneration. Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the ailments especially associated with pain and stiffness, Plath must have chosen it for those quality too. "Crumpled on nothing?" That is an image of the emptiness that she experiences in her soul and the pointlessness of it all. This forms the psychic landscape of the poem. Further, the waves remind her of "the faces of the drowned," she sees soldiers left from "old, messy wars." That could be her reflection on her own past. She sees rocks that "hide their grudges." Everything around seems hostile to her. Images of death, coldness, war and emptiness are dominant. Even the trefoils on the cliff are close to death as she sees it, and not beautiful, as most people would view them. The mists are the "souls of the dead" and she cries from walking through those mists. She seems to be in a state of absolute anhedonia and desperation. But she thought of a coping strategy - to stop thinking about it, to focus on the here and now, as if she knows that her thinking patterns are

Plath's emotions are very strong- mists make her cry. Another poem that expresses this side of her is "Poppies in

"It exhausts me to watch you . Flickering like that..." There is an atmosphere of self-destruction in her poems, a stage of depression so deep that it frightens the reader to know of such mental suffering.

"Little hell flames, do you do no harm?" Again, she sees poppies as hostile, just like the rocks in "Finisterre." Sylvia Plath expresses a death wish in her poem: "If I could bleed or sleep." She is asking for either pain or death. Her mind is so shocked and hurt that she

"But colourless. Colourless." Bright red poppies here contrast with the "colourless" state of her mind. They generally symbolise death they are the colour of blood. This may seem a very simple image but in light of her emotions they acquire a sinister context and are, therefore, even more effective that a more complex comparison and imaginative

In one of her earlier poems, "Black Rook in Rainy Weather" Plath expresses her feelings of sadness about the fear of losing inspiration, her depression and suffering that arise from the emptiness of her bland life: "a season of fatigue." She is looking for random descents that "now and then"