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Analysis and comments on Morning Song by Sylvia Plath

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Comment 15 of 135, added on May 4th, 2006 at 10:36 AM.

after reading this poem i believe we can find more than one meaning or
layer of meaning. the poem its may talk about motherhood a how this afects
the ambigious thoughts and feelings women have after giving birth to a
child. yet i think it has to do with the idea of giving birth but not only
to a child but birth in a more symbolic or metaphoric sense. perhaps the
idea of birth is used as the idea of creation of something new in our lives
that changes how things were and makes us feel uneasy and frightened.

ro from Uruguay
Comment 14 of 135, added on March 24th, 2006 at 6:04 PM.

we shouldn't automatically assume that the speaker of the poem is actually
the poet, so her own destiny has nothing to do with the poem itself.
She describes her baby in the most unflattering expressions using words
with negative connotations: “moth-breath and “mouth opens clean as a
cat’s.” The poem is a bit ironic, as it portrays motherhood differently
from what is considered traditional. Every woman’s main purpose in life is
to give birth to a descendant. In the poem, however, the mother does not
cherish her round forms and instead calls herself “cow-heavy.” On the
outside, she is a typical woman who just begat a child: in a floral
Victorian nightgown rushing to the cradle when hears a cry. On the inside,
she mentally tries to escape from the situation. She looks out of the
window but nothing pleases her eyes, even the stars are dull. She feels
devoured by her burden, as the night is devoured by day.

Liana from Ukraine
Comment 13 of 135, added on December 30th, 2005 at 4:38 AM.

ı think this poem was written when she had perplexed feelings about
her baby.She was in dilemma whether to be happy or sad.she even doesn't
know how should be his manner towards the newborn baby so we do not really
critisize her poem.but ı can say that all mother feel confused shotly
after the birth and s.plath also feel this and give it in morning song....

zeynep demir from Turkey
Comment 12 of 135, added on December 30th, 2005 at 2:56 AM.

this poem is about motherhood.It tells us the sensitivity of a mother after
she gives a birth.Plath reflects her mood to poem very well;sometimes she
is extremely excited about her new baby,sometimes pessimistic but generally
I enjoyed while I was reading it

nazlı kemik from Turkey
Comment 11 of 135, added on December 29th, 2005 at 7:08 PM.

ı think the poem shows us the psychology of a mother after she gives a
birth

tuğba özkan from Turkey
Comment 10 of 135, added on December 29th, 2005 at 6:59 PM.

ı think this poem reflects the feelings of the poet when she becomes a
mother.

seçil abay from Turkey
Comment 9 of 135, added on November 17th, 2005 at 3:54 PM.

One must delve deeper into this poem to see that the "baby" is really the
poem, and the "mother" is the poet.

Mimi from United States
Comment 8 of 135, added on November 3rd, 2005 at 3:15 AM.

In her poem Morning Song, Plath shares her conflicting emotions towards her
new born baby. She reflects upon the theme of ambiguity to further explore
her thoughts on this subject. To illustrate her theme of ambiguity Plath
uses complex language to develop a depth in this poem, a variety of
connotations. Plath tends to fluctuate between frustration and confusion.

The opening line of this poem, “love set you going like a fat gold watch”,
is a simile which implies that, despite the ambivalence she displays later
on, this child is the product of love. The choice of the diction “fat” and
“gold” suggests a richness and preciousness to the experience. The metre
in the line reflects the gentle ticking of a clock, the heartbeat of the
newborn.
The use of onomatopoeia which indicates Plath’s physical closeness to the
child; as she describes its breath as it sleeps as “moth-breath” and “a far
sea”. These soft gentle sounds contrast to the sing song sound of the
“handful of notes” that “rise like balloons” ending the poem on a melodic
and happy note.
Plath suggests that she does not celebrate the new born baby, as she says
“it is a new statue in a draft museum”. Here Plath reveals that she does
not seem to be in high spirits over arrival of her baby but instead is just
doing her job in raising the child, nothing more than that.
She illustrates her lack of maternal instincts, I’m no more than your
mother that the cloud that distils a mirror to reflect its own slow”
emotionally detaching herself from the baby. She draws a parallel line with
herself as a mother in order to bring up the baby. On the other hand Plath
shows the joy of motherhood with phrases like “one cry and I stumble out of
bed” as she has been given a new experience in caring for the child and the
baby is her focus of attention. She cannot sleep at night as one cry of the
baby will cause her to fall from bed. She also shows her protective nature
in the metaphor “your nakedness shadows out safety” as well as revealing
her sense of excitement with the phrase “Our voices each magnifying your
arrival”. Plath is ambiguous in the way that she expresses her love for her
new born baby.


Stephanie from Australia
Comment 7 of 135, added on September 18th, 2005 at 4:27 PM.

I don't think that plath is showing the proper emotion for a new mother.
She is not excited to parent this child. That is readily aparent in the
third stanza. Plath was a very disturbed poet that committed suicide and
not far after the birth of her second child. it is not only prevalent in
this poem but in many of Plath's other poems, that she was not fond of the
mother child relationship.

kenalia from Ethiopia
Comment 6 of 135, added on September 8th, 2005 at 8:10 AM.

The poem “Morning Song” by Sylvia Plath deals with motherhood. The poem is
about the birth and of the speakers’ baby and some of the events following
it. Plath uses metaphors to describe the connection between the people,
particularly between mother and child. She uses each of the five stanzas to
convey a different message about parenthood to the reader
The speaker shows right in first line of the poem the love she has for her
newborn baby “Love set you going like a fat gold watch”. This shows that
the speaker loves her baby as soon as she is born, and that she was brought
into this world being deeply loved by her mother. The metaphor of the fat
gold watch shows that the baby is precious to the mother and is valuable.
It also shows how it was love that started the baby’s life, as you wind up
a watch to get it going.
Plath describes the baby as a new statue in a drafty museum. By this it
makes the reader visualise friends and family standing around in the
hospital room looking at the new object, statue, in the room that is the
baby. The use of the word statue to describe the baby also makes the reader
see the baby as an emotionless figure, not actually considered to be a
human being yet, as it is different from everybody else. Plath says, “your
nakedness Shadows our safety” which also alienates the baby from the rest
of the group as it is naked and everybody else is presumably fully clothed.

In the third stanza Plath tries to project to the reader how mother and
child move apart from each other after childbirth. The first line of the
stanza simply states, “I’m no more your mother”. This shows that the
speaker feels that the baby is less ‘hers’ than when the child was still in
her womb. The rest of the stanza is a metaphor showing that she feels like
a cloud looking down on her shadow or reflection, that is her baby and now
the wind is slowly pushing the cloud away, the wind of time pulling the
speaker away from her baby. The connection that mother and baby once shared
is weakening.
The speaker tells the reader how she stays awake at night listening to her
baby breathe, maybe as a kind of reassurance that her baby is still alive
and nothing bad has happened to it. This really shows the love that the
mother has for her child. She cannot bear the thought of anything bad
happening to her baby, the only way she is at ease is when she can hear the
baby’s breath and knows that while it is breathing it is still all right.
The mother cares for her baby so much that she cannot sleep she needs to be
there with her child at all times, as it is her duty.
Plath continues to convey to the reader in the fifth stanza how devoted
she is to her baby. “One cry, and I stumble from my bed,” For most mothers
if their baby starts crying in the night and they know nothings is wrong,
they probably would just try and ignore it for a while and see if it stops
and goes back to sleep. Plath shows in this stanza that she is not most
mothers. If the baby just cries once, if it be for food or just wants
attention, she will be there. She does not want to leave her baby alone or
in need for one second she does not want it feeling neglected or unloved.
One cry and she is there.
The final sentence of the poem is one of the most powerful in the poem
“And now you try” it is like she is challenging you. Commanding any
doubters of her efforts to do the same. She shows how it is not easy being
a new and loving mother, completely devoting yourself to your child twenty
four hours a day, seven days a week.
To conclude, I feel that this poem shows the different experiences a new
mother and baby must go through after childbirth. It explores the different
bonds between mother and child and also looks into how the rest of the
inner circle of family and friends seem to be there but not really matter,
as the most important thing to a new mother is her baby and the poem shows
perfectly how at that time is her life, nothing was more important.

Thomas Beviss from United Kingdom

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Information about Morning Song

Poet: Sylvia Plath
Poem: Morning Song
Volume: The Collected Poems
Year: 1961
Added: Feb 20 2003
Viewed: 1786 times
Poem of the Day: Jul 11 2006


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