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Analysis and comments on Edge by Sylvia Plath

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Comment 14 of 34, added on April 14th, 2006 at 12:44 AM.

Jule's comment is almost completely accurate, and I've been studying Plath
extensively for some time now.

What I wanted to add was that the poem, written four days before her death,
is a clear representation of herself and the children, of her children. As
the the story goes, before she went through with the act she left each
child a pitcher of milk and almost a whole loaf of bread each outside their
door, do they wouldn't go hungry.

This is one of my favorites, there's almost too much to say. I'll complete
this comment another day.

Lux from France
Comment 13 of 34, added on April 11th, 2006 at 4:18 PM.

this poem explains the depression state in which sylvia was. i think she
was an awsome writer.

solovino marucho from Chile
Comment 12 of 34, added on March 12th, 2006 at 11:21 AM.

This poem is clearly about Mary Magdalene. Or rather, the ultra feminine.
Check the rose metaphor. The folds of a rose in ancient symbolism refer to
(parts) of the female anatomy. There is much symbolism here. They say
with knowledge there is power. And with that, knowledge can become
maddening. Go figure. I mean that literally.

Aveo Immortalitas from United States
Comment 11 of 34, added on February 6th, 2006 at 10:30 PM.

This poem to me shows just how deep into depression Plath was. It seems as
though she has taken a step outside of herself and is making a final
anaylization in third person, commenting on how she had submitted to
society. In turn she had backed so far away from society the only thing
left was death. I think she wanted to die, I think she knew she was going
to die soon. It seems a shame to me that a woman as idealistic, intelligent
and articulate as her lived in a time when women were expected to be wives
and raise children or be receptionists or secretaries. Perhaps if she had
been born a generation later by the time she reached this point in her life
the picture of what a woman was supposed to be would have been different.
It's not that she didn't want to be picture perfect, it's that she
couldn't. Even so, sometimes absract pictures hold to most curious and
interesting beauty of all, you just have to look a little harder and use
your imagination.

Michelle from United States
Comment 10 of 34, added on December 24th, 2005 at 2:29 PM.

Plath wrote this shortly before attempting to kill herself -- however, she
had arranged for a baby-sitter to come roughly an hour after she went
through the act. The baby-sitter was two hours late, so Plath obviously
died. Some say Plath didn't actually intend to kill herself.
I think the poem is talking about the suffering women must go through, and
how a piece of their children die along with them, no matter how old they
A good poem, but you all need to check out Tale of a Tub.

Jules from New Zealand
Comment 9 of 34, added on November 3rd, 2005 at 3:27 AM.

Plath wrote the poem, Edge, four days before she committed her suicide.
This poem is about her achieving perfection through death. It holds a
despairing, reflecting tone as Plath reaches the edge of her life. The poem
includes simple, blunt statements and the use of the third person. She no
longer writes in the first person; the predominant mood seems to be one of
Plath opens the poem with two short lines which due to their brevity,
directness and lack of punctuation immediately tie Plath’s perverse idea of
perfection being found in the dead. This is followed by the line,
describing her “smile of accomplishment” suggesting a smugness that she has
won against the would that is causing her so much pain.
The next line “flow like the toga” seems to suggest that once she has
informed the reader of her intention her mind will be released. The use of
rhyming assonance in “flows”, “scrolls” and “toga” effect this. And then
the clipped abrasiveness of “Her bare” linking us bacl to the abruptness of
“her dead”. These reminds the readers of the ugly reality of her
Plath alludes to herself as the Grecian mythological character, Medea, who
slayed her chilren in an act of vengegeance towards her cheating husband.
Only instead of taking the lives of her children, Plath kills herself. The
metaphor “each dead child coiled, a white serpent” suggests her emotional
power of her children. They are both innocent in the diction “white” and
capable of being used in a cunning manner in the noun “serpent”. The colour
imagery is continued in the whiteness of the “milk” the “moon”, and the
“bone” again reinforce the incorruptibility of the child. Added to the
colour imagery of red in “rose” and “bleed” and black in the final line
Plath, confronts the reader with the colours of purity, evil and life
combined. Her vengeance towards her husband is through the harm she will be
causing her children as she ends their relationship through her death.

Comment 8 of 34, added on October 12th, 2005 at 5:56 PM.

I think that this poem is beautiful. It makes me think about how terribly
lost and sad she must have been to write something so powerful about her
own forthcoming death.

Marie from Canada
Comment 7 of 34, added on September 28th, 2005 at 8:05 AM.

I for one think this poem is awesome *pokes Linz*

Rhia from Canada
Comment 6 of 34, added on September 27th, 2005 at 4:54 AM.

this poem holds a despairing and reflective tone as the poet reaches the
edge of her life, hence the title "Edge". plath uses powerful language
throughout the poem ans the recurring image of the moon also appears in
this particular plath poem, which in this case plath personifies as
"staring from the hood of bone".

Kiki from Australia
Comment 5 of 34, added on May 5th, 2005 at 2:31 AM.

This poem is so terribly sad. I wish I could race back through time and
carry her to help. I want to rescue Sylvia from herself. She is so very
sad, and her children left with her legacy. Such a tragic story...

Erin from United States

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Information about Edge

Poet: Sylvia Plath
Poem: Edge
Volume: The Collected Poems
Year: 1963
Added: Feb 20 2003
Viewed: 52608 times

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