Mother And Child In Sylvia Plath Poems



Sylvia Plath: Consider how the poems dealing with Mother and Child convey a startling variety of responses
Although each of the poems in question (You’re, Morning Song, By Candlelight, Nick and the Candlestick and Mary’s Song) focuses on the relationship between mother and child, the emotions dealt with in each poem vary quite incredibly. Each poem appears differently on the page: You’re and By Candlelight are written in nine-line stanzas, the two poems having two and four respectively, while Morning song, Nick and the Candlestick and Mary’s Song consist of six, fourteen and seven stanzas, each of three lines. It thus appears that Plath is using threes and sevens quite prolifically, as ...

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also occur frequently: there are seven cardinal virtues; seven deadly sins; seven ages of man; seven days in a week and seven seals in the book of revelation. Although the range of emotions is spread between the poems, they do seem to follow a linear course as the sequence progresses. You’re begins with the persona (whom we can assume to be an expectant mother) talking to her foetus, and she believes that it is enjoying itself: "You’re/
Clown like, happiest on your hands". This could be a reflection of her own sentiments, implying that the mother to be is also contented. She seems sure that the baby will be ready to cope with any eventuality ("Gilled like a fish") without needing to rely on others for support ("Wrapped up in yourself like a spool".) "Snug as a bud and at home/ Like a sprat in a pickle jug" gives an impression of immense comfort and security. This sense of comfort is picked up again later, in both By Candlelight ("Balled hedgehog," "I rock you like a boat",) and ...

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that her pregnancy will progress in this way, and that there would be nothing that she could do about it even if she was unsatisfied.
The narrator’s seemingly ambivalent attitude continues into Morning Song. The tone is both descriptive and observant, focusing on the change of scene for both the baby and the mother. There seems to be very little opinion from the mother, but she seems to be enjoying a sense of investigation and discovery with her infant.
The only feeling that is particularly obvious is one of contented pride, as the mother celebrates her baby’s birth ("Our voices echo, magnifying your arrival") and congratulates it on its newly-found independence. There does seem to ...

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Added: 8/12/2008 06:14:03 AM
Category: Poetry & Poets
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 2030
Pages: 8

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