The Bare Sylvia Plath
Sylvia Plath was born in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts to middle class parents. Her father was domineering and abusive, he passed away when she was eight years old. This was an extremely difficult incident for Plath to deal with. Although Sylvia Plath's career as a poet was a short one, there is quite a difference between her early poetry and the poetry she wrote in the last six months of her life. She had a limited audience, but became more eminent due to her tragic death. Readers are able to find the humanity of her life through the unraveling of her poetry. "Ariel”, was a poem written during Plath's final months. In class we read three poems called “Morning Song”, “Daddy”, and “Event”. Her use of alliteration, slant rhyme, imagery of the horrible and unnatural, and her recurring themes of lost identity or re-created identity are very perceptible in her writing. In “Ariel” Plath allowed her unique voice and vision to more fully surface, compared to her other poetry. The Ariel-period poems of Sylvia Plath demonstrate her desire for rebirth.
In Plath’s poem “Morning Song” she is describing the birth of her second child and the trials of the first night with a new offspring. Usually giving birth is a celebration in most people’s lives, but Plath’s experience was a melancholic and dramatic one.
Throughout the poem readers can pick up on the fear and phobia she is feeling. “Love set you going like a fat gold watch. The midwife slapped your foot soles, and your bald cry took its place among the elements”. It seems she is trying to accept this occurrence as much as she can, but she is in a fragile state. She describes the baby like a statue in a museum, Plath feels very uncomfortable with the art that she has created. She portrays the baby in a vulnerable state all through the poem, for example when she writes, “All night your moth-breath flickers among the flat pink roses”. The title “Morning Song” means the child’s cry in the morning. Plath did not know how to deal with this experience in her life, and she did not approach situations the way mothers typically do. This poem demonstrates how she deconstructed the episode and broke it down to the bare. She gives the reader a glimpse of what a harsh and lonely world she lives in.