Poet: Sylvia Plath
Poem: Letter In November
Volume: The Collected Poems
Year: Published/Written in 1962
Poem of the Day:
Dec 4 2007
Comment 3 of 3, added on March 2nd, 2013 at 5:17 AM.
Thanks for srttanig the ball rolling with this insight.
from Kyrgyz Republic (Kyrgyzstan)
Comment 2 of 3, added on June 7th, 2010 at 6:58 AM.
Letter in November is a love poem. Anne Stevenson in her biography suggests that this was possibly written with Alvarez in mind, as a sign of her newfound independene. Personally, the warm colours 'the beautiful red' certainly suggest the love and warmth Plath feels towards her home (in Court Green, Devon at this time). This may imply that Plath is in love with her domestic life: 'its tawn silk grasses- babies hair' is a reference to Plath as a mother, and 'I love them' explains the simple, natural, and perhaps even maternal love that is felt here. The first three stanzas are particularly touching with happy assertions, 'I am so stupidly happy.' Juxtaposing this strongly in the fourth stanza is the 'barbarous holly...viridian Sacllops, pure iron.'which is suggesting that Plath is not only guarding her property like a guard dog 'I pace it, sniffing', but that intruders are by no means welcome. Bearing in mind the similar imagery she uses in Spinster, 'and round her house she set/ such a barricade of barb and check...as no mere insurgent man could hope to break', it is likely that the barricade in 'Letter in NOvember' is to ward of men. Given the context of when the poem was written, it is likely that this figure is Ted Hughes. 'O love, O celibate./nobody but me walks the waist high wet' is perhaps sarcastic, (since Hughes was by no means celibate!) but indicates that Plath has accepted, and is perhaps even proud of her independence. The reference to Thermopylae is an allusion to the 300 Spartans in classical mythology, thus inferring that Plath is intent on defending her property, even if defeat is certain.
A fantastic poem, filled with creative and beautiful images. Before writing Plath off as a 'druggie' please appreciate her metaphorical way of writing and the depth required to achieve this.
Mim from United Kingdom
Comment 1 of 3, added on February 19th, 2009 at 8:00 PM.
this peom sounds like she is on drugs...
Bex from Czech Republic
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