Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sylvia Plath's "Poppies in October"


It seems that Plath’s writing contains no cogent revelations about the genuine worth of a woman’s life or the possibilities of her legacy. What she has left us with, instead, is a cool-but-gloomy kind of narcissism that would rather self-extinguish than engage with the world.
This poem of Plath is of period when she wrote mainly about violence. This poem is about enchanting and breath taking beauty of “Poppies flowers”. The sun even with its bright red light can not cover such number of spectators. Even the sun-clouds this morning cannot manage such skirts.
And the woman who is in the ambulance, whose blood is gushing from her heart and coloring her coat (evidently suffering and is in pain), can not gather much attention

Nor the woman in the ambulance

Whose red heart blooms through her coat so astoundingly----

Further, we can say that this poem is about enchanting and breath taking beauty of “Poppies flowers”. These are so beautiful that even the bright red and shiny Sun can not pass around them (manage such skirts) and had to stop to watch the beauty of these showy flowers .And the woman who is in the ambulance (evidently suffering and is in pain) can not evade their charm. Here hart has gone after them and she is spell bound

A gift of beauty a natural talent bestowed over these little flowers was unasked for. It is heavenly as beauty always is.

Encircling and burning, intensely and brightly the passion in them (poppies& spectators)

Arousing passion which is at the same time sweet and insane and dangerous like carbon monoxides through eyes (the center of flowers) and is dimmed when they are shady petals are closed or not completely open. Plath must be feeling like Wordsworth did when he saw “The Daffodils” for she says

O my God, what am I

That these late mouths should cry open

Poppies welcome the visitors by opening their petals and giving a bright grin (sweet smile) in the chill and frosty season among other “Bachelor flowers”.


In a 1973 essay, Joyce Carol Dates connects Sylvia Plath, in fruitful and complex ways, to what she aptly calls the “death throes of romanticism,” and she concludes that Plath is edifying for her “cathartic” quality, arguing that her work “not only cleanses us of our personal and cultural desires for regression, but explains by way of its deadly accuracy what was wrong with such desires.”

Sylvia Plath has been one of the biggest influences on my poetry. Her obvious abstractism has captured audience all inspired and motivated by her poetry, either to write better or to simplify her poetic wrap.

Poppies in October: it so happens that October is my birthmonth, and this poem has always since been a favorite of mine also, poppies are a well known symbol of Remembrance Day the setting can be interpreted in many ways: it can be a woman tending to a patient, or a woman fighting for her life, might be a regular woman and a day unseen by herself. I get the strong feminine impression reading this poem, upon mention of skirts, forests and cornflowers (nature=Mother Nature=female) and a love gift, usually given to women. Her hair red can also be compared to the poppies.

Is it a coincidence that the month chosen is prior to the one which poppies reign?

“By a sky, palely and flamily

Igniting its carbon monoxides,”

This section holds a key to the setting presented in the poem, and maybe the emotion conjured in the reader. Pollution, obvious pollution created by the overuse of automobiles. Carbon monoxide: toxic (one of the leading causes of lung cancer) and distasteful can be dangerous to all who inhale too much of it, or little bits too often. It is a negative thing, which leads to concluding that this piece has a negative feeling.

Emotions such as distress and sadness are important to the Sylvia Plath poem. Most of her poems are based on these 2 easy-to-relate emotions, and loosely on the pleasure it can motivate you to seek and enjoy when you have it.

The most frequent colour in here is red. Poppies are red, her hair is red, love is associated with red and so is a heart. Reds of lighter tones are usually connected with lust, anger and rage, and those deeper reds with love, passion and heat. Poppies are of a lighter red: they might represent the anger in the poem, the blood if there is any in the ambulance, etc.

when she speaks of god, and crying in nature, we can say it is His creation, that she is crying out for his creation; bountiful, pleasant and beautiful. She is asking almost for permission to speak and be in the company of beauty. If we can relate to her knowledge on any level, it would be on the lowest.

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Saira nazir said...

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NeoEnglish System said...

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