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Essay: Child – a poem by Sylvia Plat

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  • Subject area(s): Literature essays
  • Reading time: 3 minutes
  • Price: Free download
  • Published: October 18, 2015*
  • File format: Text
  • Words: 945 (approx)
  • Number of pages: 4 (approx)
  • Child - a poem by Sylvia Plat
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In this poem, Sylvia Plath shows her tender love for her infant. She longs to satisfy her child’s need for beauty and fun in this life. Plath then shows her own depressive mood at the end of the poem.
Silvia Plath wrote this poem in four three line stanzas. There is no regular rhyming pattern and it is a free verse poem The rhythm of the poem has a characteristic feeling with the run on lines and conversational words. The poem feels like an personal plea of the poet, commonly tended to Plath’s child. The short lines, with one world and a few beats, give the poem a quick rhythm.
On one level the poem is situated around a mother’s affection. In the first stanza Plath shows affection and profound admiration for the purity of her child’s eye. She needs to offer joy to her child by filling her eyes with the colors and toys that ordinarily delight the children. She mentions ‘ducks’ as an example.
In the second stanza Plath gives two illustrations of plants that her child is finding out about. In the third stanza Plath utilizes a plant’s picture to demonstrate her child’s flawlessness: ‘stalk without wrinkle’. She views her child’s agreeable eyes as a reflection that mirrors the miracles of the world: ‘grand and classical’. In the fourth stanza Plath uncovers her individual inconveniences. She shows an image of twisting her hands in anxiety to portray her distress in life ‘Wringing of hands’. Plath then portrays her dim life by comparing it with a ‘ceiling without a star’. She concludes the poem on an exceptionally troubled note. The poet indicates how she is troubled in her soul in light of the fact that she feels she is carrying on with a life without any light: ‘this dark ceiling without a star’.
‘Your clear eye is the one absolutely beautiful thing’. The poet portrays that human feelings are intricate. She can feel dreadful and fascinated at the same time, ‘troublous’ and ‘absolutely beautiful’.
The poet compares a happy childhood,
‘color and ducks’,
to anunhappy adulthood,
‘ this troublous
Wringing of hands’.
The poet shows two sides to her personality.
Here she shows pleasures in the beauty of a young life:
‘I want to fill it with color and ducks’.
But later she feels horrified:
‘troublous wringing of hands’.
The poet compares two types of aging:
‘wrinkle’ means to age poorly or badly, ‘classical’ means to age well.
There are two dramatic representations of fear. There are likewise enchanting pictures of the child and of nature. These pictures are contrasting.
In the first stanza, Plath presents an authentic picture of the ‘Clear eye’. At that point she specifies the straightforward pictures of ‘colors and ducks’ to portray to her infant’s delights. Plath then gives a surprising correlation, a representation, in which she looks at the intriguing disclosures that anticipate a youngster to ‘the zoo of the new’.
The “zoo” is not really there in the child’s room. It is a correlation picture to demonstrate Plath’s state of mind to her child’s sense of wonder.
Plath utilizes revealing pictures from nature in the second stanza. She mentions a “snowdrop” and an unusual plant called ‘Indian Pipe’.
In the third stanza Plath uses metaphors.
She connects the youth of her child with a ‘stalk without a wrinkle’. The word “stalk” refers to a shoot or stem, signifying freshness and undeveloped. .
In the third stanza there is also comparison between the images of maturing.
The words “wrinkle” refers to the wrinkles, overlays or lines that come with age and stress in to the skin. It is negative maturing.
The saying “classical” implies conventional and a legendary growth. It is positive maturing.
In the last stanza Plath gives a real picture of restless bending of hands. She utilizes the word “Ceiling” as a metaphor for her constrained and trapped mind. This metaphor is in sharp comparison to the previous portrayal for her child’s reality. That world is vast and open, in the same way as a ‘zoo’ is.
Concentrating on feminist issues through the viewpoint of her own experience, she was equally determined by a desire to attain to while adapting with a desperate lack of self-confidence and low self-esteem. The loss of her father at an early age added to her fears of abandonment and insecurity. Plath, a talented poet and writer, living in an era that characterized a woman’s role, in a male dominated society, felt limited by society that demanded that she remain a Barbie doll. Pushing against this interest, and the individual battles coming about because of a cheating husband, drove her over the edge. In the event that she had lived in a later time, not in the 1950s or 1960s, and battled with her way of life as a wife and mother, would she have possessed the capacity to survive the appalling circumstances of her life? Possibly she would not have felt so sad, perhaps she would not have felt propelled to commit suicide at thirty years old deserting her child? Always battling her own feminist battle, Sylvia Plath never escaped from her adolescence trauma of losing her father and the need to please him. , she shows her depression in the last lines of her poem in these words
Not this troublous
Wringing of hands, this dark
Ceiling without a star

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