Youth Forward Scholarship Winter 2018 – Homeless

Name: Jennifer Garcia
From: Pico Rivera, CA
Grade: 11
School: El Rancho High School
Votes: 0

Poetry
Response Paper

Poets
like Sylvia Plath all have some sort of story to tell, but hers is
like no other in poetry. This woman had a strict father and a rough
childhood where it led to her attempting to commit suicide at age 20
and she was depressed. She later on had a husband and then two
children, her husband Ted Hughes cheated on her. It then led her to
struggle with mental illness and she finally managed to take her own
life at 30 years of age. Throughout her active years, Plath wrote
about her life and how those experiences had a negative impact rather
then good and published her writings. She used a technique of
confessional poetry where it was personal and using similes,
allusions, and metaphors to describe the pain and events she was
going through. Besides that, most of her poetry had the mood of
despair and anger where at times it would be ambiguous language where
it could be hard to understand her poems at times. Until this day,
her work is still read evoking real life situations that happen on a
daily basis.

One
of her poems written in her early years of college was “Mad Girl’s
Love Song”, the piece was on lost hope. It consisted of love, but
then lead to betrayal by someone. There are many themes shown, but
one in particular which is common in most of her poems is
unsuccessful love. The content of this is explored in the beginning
until and the end of the poem, but the most significant thing about
this poem is the certain allusion she uses which is “God topples
from the sky, hell’s fires fade: Exit seraphim and Satan’s men:”,
it demonstrates the destruction unleashed on which the speaker
realizes her lover or whomever they are isn’t planning on coming
back. When it comes to rhyming, stanza two shows the only rythmic
words which are “red” and “dead”. One poem in particular by
Plath is sort of different in style and tone which is “You’re”.
The writing techniques are more of a passionate and loving tone with
Plath having written about her unborn child and describing the
movement of the child in her womb. She uses lots of imagery in where
she’s discrptive on how the child feels inside her womb while in
motherhood.. In this state, this poem is much more for the love she
has for her unborn child in theme unlike her other poems that are
mostly descriptive of her suicidal tendencies and serious.

To
further more on her different methods on “You’re”, Plath uses
just not metaphors but rhythmic words throughout the poem. This is
one technique that does not change and in only two stanzas she
develops it. The feeling Plath has is the emotional positivity she
has with knowing the phase of being a pregnant mother and realizing
the good outcome of it. Plath’s style may be different in tone and
devices but it’s also shown as fear in the following quote, “A
clean slate, with your own face on”, as if she wants the unborn
child to decide on their fate on a good route and her fear is
probably the fact that her life was full of the problems and does not
want her child to go through the same exact thing as she did, so she
wants the fetus to have a clean future. Based on this, the theme is
more of a fearful mother who wants the best for their child as they
grow up knowing that this is her first. The poem itself is quite
sweet and passionate in tone because she cares about her unborn and
she made this style of hers from suicidal to fearful and caring since
it was on her first child.

Another
poem of Plath’s is, “Edge” which is a typical poem on life and
death which was written 6 days before her suicide. She uses ambiguous
words were it is really hard description on what she is trying to
tell the reader. For instance, “The woman is perfected. Her dead….
Body wears the smile of accomplishment” is an enjambment where it
is difficult to say if besides her dead body that everything was
already dead before actually killing herself, but it pretty much sums
up the fact that she has been feeling this way for a long time. Plath
uses the usual metaphors, personification, and imagery. The imagery
is so concise in every two line stanzas that Plath inmerges lots of
imagery to explain what the woman is feeling when in reality it is
she herself whom she is talking about. Some things familiar seen in
one of her poems compared to this one is “Mad Girl’s Love Song”,
is where a biblical symbol is used in stanza 5 and in “Edge” it
describes a white sepernet referenced to Adam and Eve.

One
of Plath’s most well known poems would be “Daddy” which she
wrote about her father who was really strict. There is lots of
imagery that she compares her father to, an example would be the most
strongest component she uses, “ I thought every German was you…With
your Luftwaffe, your gobbledygoo, and your neat mustache, and your
Aryan eye, bright blue” She basically shows the image she sees her
father as, a Nazi. Back at this time Nazis had a large amount of
power where they were feared by many like Jews and she was scared of
him because she thought of him that way. Another one she uses is the
image of him as a vampire, “ There’s a stake in your fat black
heart” which symbolizes how vampires would be killed with a stake
in their heart. In fictional history it was told that vampires were
evil and harmful creatures which is another way she sees her father.
It seems as Plath’s literary devices consisted of using strong
imagery in every one of her poems. As reading, the poem is
overriding with rhymes where it makes it seem more intense without
having to stop at any moment. Plath uses many descriptive words as
she does in every other one, but this poem makes it more personal
because she compares her dad to her husband. She says, “ I made a
model of you, … And a love of the rack and the screw. And I said I
do, I do”. With her describing this, she practically married her
father mentally not physically. It shows how she went deep into
comparing her father to many multiple things including her husband.

All
things considered, Plath’s style is personal poetry and using
imagery in every one of her writings. The main themes she uses in the
four poems are shown as despair, suicidal, and motherhood which
represents her feelings. Plath is a truthful writer who went through
so many consequences and by writing she let it all out. For her, it
was a complete escape where she can be truthful about her
surroundings. She based it on mostly comparing and using imagery to
signify it. When it comes to the Bible, she used certain topics like
satan and God to display it, but it was a little less shown style she
used which was shown rarely. Most were rhythmic in some parts with
only one stanza, but that was a technique she used even if it was a
on and off on rhythm and meter. Sylvia Plath was one of the many
writers that wrote about herself until it came to the day where she
could not longer handle it.

WORK
CITE: https://www.biography.com/people/sylvia-plath-9442550


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