Plath Poem Analysis:EvesdropperWritten October 15, 1962Context: A few months after the separation of her Ted Hughes as a result of his affair with Assia Weevils. Sylvia takes her own life just 4 months later. Structure: 7 stanzas, 9 lines per stanza, Freeverse, slight but no definitive rhyme schemeLiteral Meaning: Plath is furiously annoyed at a nosy, gossipy neighbor. It describes a sort of chaotic anger that we see reoccurring throughout a lot of her poems at this time. Along with the themes of rage, we see reoccurring throughout her poems, this poem along with many others like “Cut”, is centered around what seems to be everyday situations that many people can relate with. These occurrences in Sylvia’s life, however, are eliciting a very explosive, extreme response. Interpretation: I interpreted this poem in two different ways,the first and most obvious being that Plath is talking about Ted Huges' mistress, Assia Weevils and her hatred towards her. The second is that Plath is severely overreacting to what is generally it is just a common situation illustrating the severity of her unhealthy mental state.
Evesdropper:Your brother will trim my hedges!They darken your house,What seems to be something nice that the neighbor is doing for her, is just motivated by the neighbor's self-interest. The only reason she wants the hedges gone is because they are casting a shadow on her own house. This may reference Sylvia’s feelings towards her and Wevil’s past relationship, as they had been friends previousto her discovery of the affair. She feels as if Wevils appeared to be kind, yet was only motivated my self-interestNosy grower,Mole on my shoulder,To be scratched absently,To bleed, if it comes to that.Plath emphasizing the irritation she feels with the neighbor and the absence of any kind of welcome towardsthis person. She feels as if the neighbor is always there, and says she is willing to make herself bleed to get away from her.