Compare The Way Poets Explore A Sense Of Loss

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The poets’ explorations of the feeling of loss extends much further than the ephemeral. It is a continuous feeling which transcends the physical, embodying itself equally in the facets of identity, life, and trust. Plath, a confessional poet, uses her poetry as a cathartic medium to convey her personal loss. This lends a very personal tone to her poetry, while Frost writes from an observational perspective, often taking on the persona of a being experiencing loss. The poets use families and the belittlement of women to align the reader with the many facets of loss.

The loss and pain associated with the loss of life is explored by the two poets but from two differing perspectives, Plath expresses the sadness and anger which accompanies her losing a loved one, Frost on the other hand is more stoic and shows that life simply goes on regardless. In ‘Daddy’, Plath conveys her sorrow and anger which is felt in the death of her father. To her, it is such that, he ‘bit my pretty red heart in two’. She conveys her pain through this violent imagery. Her vitriolic attitude toward her father is conveyed when she talks of his “fat black heart”. This image is both lifeless and apathetic, the colour black is used extensively by Plath throughout her poem as it sums up the isolation and the darkness of loss. It is not only in childhood that his death affects her, at the age of twenty she “tried to die” to get “back, back, back” to him, and gets to the stage where, “even the bones would do”. Plath shows through her repetition that death has a lasting impact on those left behind. Her yearning and despise for her father is felt through pain in the vivid imagery. This loss is transported to other relationships “I made a model of you, a man in black...

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...r towards something more sinister. Here the woman is given the status of wife by society but is unable to exercise it within herself, rendering her without a personal identity.

Through their poems Plath and Frost have given the reader an insight into the feelings of loss. Through the loss of life, Plath shows that the pain of losing a loved one is forever etched in the memories of people around them; Frost however, argues that although there is pain, it is only ephemeral, and that life soon moves along as it always has. Through the belittling of women in society Plath illustrates that loss can also be a loss of self-worth, losing the very essence of your being. Frost also recognises that ill-treatment can lead to loss of identity and self-worth. Loss then is not just a feeling, it becomes a burden which people carry with them in all facets of their existence.
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