Sharp stanzas A sense of peace that comes with death perfected 1 Separation of

Sharp stanzas a sense of peace that comes with death

This preview shows page 6 - 8 out of 10 pages.

Sharp stanzas A sense of peace that comes with death – “perfected” (1) Separation of descriptors and nouns: “her dead – body”, “her bare – feet” The “illusion of a Greek necessity” (2) o Alludes to Medea : killed her children for vengeance on her husband o This is a woman who’s carried the weight of the world on her shoulders Diction indicates that she’s talking about poetry and her children Tone: resigned - “we have come so far, it’s over” (4) “Each dead child coiled, a white serpent” (5) o her children sucked the life out of her, restricted her o she could no longer provide for them, can’t do justice to them o she feels compelled by these “white serpents” (innocently evil) to kill herself o the nurturing fountain of life – “pitcher of milk” (6) is empty 9. Strumpet Song page 33 Written early in her career (Spider/Spinster/Sow era) A strumpet = prostitute o Paradoxical title: prostitute singing? o Should feel sympathy for the hooker “White frost gone” and “green dreams” (1) – purity, youth are all lost She used to have a job: forced onto the street MEN brand her as the “foul slut” (1) o Universality that men are attracted to women of the night “Mark, I cry” (2) – emphasizing a personal element o prostitutes are often physically and sexually abused o “I cry” – she (Plath) feels sympathy for these women – the I is Plath “that seamed face’ (2) – wrinkled and stressed o violent imagery heightened with “blotch, dint, scar” o “struck” : physical implications and metaphorical Read as Question: “Walks there not some such one man” (3) o Isn’t there ONE man decent enough to see her as a woman? o Heal her from terrifying scowl, with love o Beggar imagery: the prostitute begging for recognition “black tarn, ditch, and cup” (3) the prostitute is anything but chaste (juxtaposition) o Plath is chaste and is the observer, noticing this strumpet (which is ironic because a strumpet is proud of her profession) This woman isn’t…she’s ashamed – “veers to her slouch” “bruit”: rumor
10. Virgin in a Tree page 81 ekphrastic poem: a poem based on a work of art (based on Paul Klee’s etching “A Virgin in a Tree”) women who spend their lives in chastity- leads to neglect and bitterness o Women who remain virgins: since the beginning of time (age-old edict for women) “Proverbs stitched on samplers” (1) Word Play: “Approving chased (chaste) girls” and also “nun-black habit o Using examples from history of chaste women, goddesses who try to avoid contact with men by transforming o Turn into a part of the forest scene so that they can’t be pursued Daphne o Didn’t want to be pursued for her beauty, turned into a tree instead o “Turned to her hard limbs like ivy” (3) o the Puritans (purists) laud chastity Syrinx o She preserved her chastity and foiled suitors by turning into a water reed Pitys- avoided Pan (the satyr)

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture