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Poetry Analysis: A Life By Sylvia Plath

Born on October 27, 1932 in a suburb of Boston Massachusetts, Sylvia Plath was a famous poet, novelist, and writer. Publishing her first poem in the Boston Herald’s children section, at the age of eight, showed her early interest in poetry. Subsequent to her fathers death, Sylvia Plath’s family moved to Wellesley Massachusetts, where she continued the duration of her scholastic experience until college. Sylvia Plath could be described as an exemplary daughter and star student who earned straight A’s throughout her high school career. By 1950, Sylvia Plath had won “The Scholastic Art & Writing Award”, published her first story “And Summer Will Not Come Again”, written over 50 short stories, and had been published in a few magazines. Plath’s…show more content…
However, what is obvious is that she describes a both enchantingly peaceful and nostalgic scene. Plath opens her poem by ordering her reader to “Touch it” (ll. 1). Her use of a long sentences rather than short and choppy, makes her tone appear more like a request compared to a demand. Her choice of syntax gives a comforting feel to the poem as she asks the reader “to flick the glass with [their] fingernail” reassuring them that it will do nothing and “nobody in there [will]...bother to answer” (ll. 6-10). Plath’s detail in the opening stanzas when she explains that the scene took place ”last year” and the “inhabitants [are]...permanently busy” hint that she is depicting a picture or painting. More clues about the painting are revealed through details describing “sea waves...in single file” and a frank landscape where “the light falls without letup”. Plath uses imagery to depict the painting as peaceful, with carefree people lacking any real issues. She explains the “inhabitants [as] light as a cork” and nothing “trespassing in bad temper”. Throughout the rest of the poem Plath’s imagery develops a more morbid and intense tone. The switch in tone suggests the author might hold jealous feelings towards the characters in the picture and their lifestyle. The imagery also turns bleak in the final stanzas, when “a woman dragging her shadow in a circle” and a “hospital saucer”are described. She also makes the disturbing comparison of a woman to a “foetus in a bottle”. The shift in imagery and the fact that Plath wrote this after being released from the hospital, due to a suicide attempt, reveals that Plath has moved from describing the painting to giving details about the hospital and the dismal emotions overcoming her at the time. Being that the woman “appears to have suffered a sort of private blitzkrieg” relates to

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