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Morning Song' by Sylvia Plath: Poetry Analysis

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The whole poem consists of six stanzas, each stanza is three lines long and there is an alternate long and short sentence to express a rhythmic rocking sound. The rhythm of the poem is related to a lullaby where mothers sing it to their precious baby, which ties into the title of the poem. The poem's first line significantly captures the speaker's hesitant tone by comparing the baby to a 'fat gold watch'. The simile illustrates the child as something quite distant and inanimate, beautiful yet repulsive. The baby is portrayed as captivating and emotionless, but still very much treasured. Furthermore, Plath emphasizes the theme of motherhood as she links the child’s “bald cry” to the “elements”, which suggests that she feels the sound of the “cry” will become an often occurrence as an element is something that is very common and around everyone. The first line of the second stanza, “Our voices echo, magnifying your arrival” connotes anxiousness and also fear as the moment is momentous but are possibilities of childbirth which is a mother's worst fear. Moreover, the poem is free verse, therefore, expressing a way to indicate new experiences. The mother's worry about the vulnerability of the baby is portrayed in the second stanza as she is compared to a “statue” but then uses the statue as an analogy for the baby, being defenseless and unprotected which is evident when the poet states, “Nakedness shadows our safety”. The idea of vulnerability is replicated in ‘Suicide off Egg Rock’: ‘No pit of shadow to crawl into’.

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In addition, in the third and fourth stanzas, Plath seems to shift the tone towards a more harsher and self-critical tone, demonstrating their dissatisfaction with her parenting skills. This is shown through the first line of the third stanza. The eerie tone is continued when Plath states “I’m no more your mother” which extensively connotes the sense of disappointment and dissatisfaction with her lack of parenting skills. Plath uses a metaphor to portray the struggles of being a mother and this is evident as she states, “a mirror to reflect its own slow”. In this case, it is a negative reflection where she is overly self-critical and expresses the exhaustion from taking care of her young baby as it is crucial for a mother to be there for her baby. This analogy is replicated in the poem ‘Mirror’ where Plath describes the aging of the owner of the mirror as he/she watches. The regular structure of the poem portrays the daily routine of the mother which emphasizes the enervation of the mother.

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Morning Song’ by Sylvia Plath: Poetry Analysis. (2023, April 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 2, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/morning-song-by-sylvia-plath-poetry-analysis/
“Morning Song’ by Sylvia Plath: Poetry Analysis.” Edubirdie, 21 Apr. 2023, edubirdie.com/examples/morning-song-by-sylvia-plath-poetry-analysis/
Morning Song’ by Sylvia Plath: Poetry Analysis. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/morning-song-by-sylvia-plath-poetry-analysis/> [Accessed 2 Mar. 2024].
Morning Song’ by Sylvia Plath: Poetry Analysis [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2023 Apr 21 [cited 2024 Mar 2]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/morning-song-by-sylvia-plath-poetry-analysis/
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