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The poem “Tulips” written by Sylvia Plath is a poem that uses extremely vivid language and detail. The poem is called “Tulips”, although tulips play a minor role in the poem. This poem is more about the observation of tulips then it is about actual tulips. At one point it almost feels as if she is jealous of the “Tulips”. She writes in the first person and has a very original structure. The poem is a easy read but intriguing at the same time.
This poem is about a person whom might have been injured in a battle of some kind or a war. The setting is a hospital. Plath leaves many details to the imagination but the setting is concrete. This poem is written in the first person. I believe Plath might take on an alternate identity in order to write this poem. The speaker in this poem seems to be depressed. Depressed about her life, her family, and her situation in this hospital. Visible from “ the green plastic–pillowed trolley” that she lays on are, red tulips.
Plath writes in seven line stanzas. She uses a unique rhyme scheme that changes from in each stanza. Occasionally she isolates one line in order to annunciate its meaning. She also uses enjambment to help stress the meaning of certain lines. Plath also like to use metaphor and simile in her poem. Lines nine and ten she uses simile when she writes, “Like an eye between two white lids that will not shut. Stupid pupil, it has to take everything in”. She is stationary in her bed and almost doesn’t want to see everything anymore but she cannot hide what is going on around her.
The Tulips in this poem play a unique role. It is as if she is jealous of the tulips. She makes the reader understand that the tulips are so red that they automatically draw attention. Earlier in the poem she speaks of how no one notices her. She compared herself to a “pebble” and speaks of how the nurses tend over her. Not that she is being neglected but that she is part of there routine. It is as if they have to tend to her not as if they want to. She is bothered that everyday no one notices her except for today when the tulips are present.
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Plath is a very original poet. She creates her own mood, style, & rhyme scheme while using common form of enjambment and metaphor. She also takes on the role of the character in the poem by writing in the first person. She keeps the reader on their toes. This poem is not a simple read and it take a few times of reading it before it is understood, but the more times it is read the more comes out of it.