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Analysis and comments on Stillborn by Sylvia Plath

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Comment 10 of 70, added on February 2nd, 2006 at 11:50 AM.

i think stillborn is an excellent example of the rawness of pure emotion
that is not done better by anyone. Reading plaths poems evokes emotions on
so many levels, i feel it is like reading someones innermost thoughts she
seemed to get personal comfort of some sort by writing her feelings in the
form of a poem. Lady Lazurus and Daddy are excellent examples. This is no
different writing this appears to be Plaths way of dealing with her
dissatisfaction with her full life, her envy of her husbands sucess is
apparent and we can see she is not at all staisfied with her life, poetry,
marriage or anything. This is earlier than most of the poems which are
graphically suicidal but the unhappiness shines through in the same way.

Comment 9 of 70, added on January 27th, 2006 at 11:22 PM.

In any act of creativity, whether it be growing a baby or "birthing" a poem
or painting a picture, there comes a moment of realization that the
"creation" has taken on a separate and distinct life from it's creator,
that it has somehow miraculously come into being in it's own right, and
although it bares traces and roots it's creator, the genetic imprint
perhaps, somehow it has become more than the sum of the literal bones,
words, or artistic medium. That moment, when it occurs, is an epiphany, a
kana moment, when one sighs and says 'Aha'. Once experienced, that point of
recognition when the baby's independent movement is felt for the first
time, or the character in the story comes to life and is not who the author
thought they would be, speaking in a different voice: that feeling is
unmistakable, as is it's lack. Stillborn is a poem of mourning, a lament,
at the missing element in the poems that would turn lifeless words into
'living' creations. Stillbirth is very effective imagery for the process of
a poem not coming 'to life'.

Pip from United States
Comment 8 of 70, added on November 28th, 2005 at 4:58 PM.

Quick clarification on Jessica's comment... Sylvia Plath does not have "a
history of giving birth to stillborn children." She did, however, have one
miscarriage in 1961, after the birth of her daughter and before the birth
of her son. This poem expresses her anxieties about childbirth and her
feelings of inadequacy. But it also extends that metaphor to the creation
of poetry. Her experience is not actually giving birth to stillborn
children, but stillborn poems. The poems "do not live" as she desires them
to. She admits the effort she has put into them, but mourns her inability
to create lively poems.

Emily from United States
Comment 7 of 70, added on November 21st, 2005 at 4:42 PM.

I believe that this poem goes deeper than Plath's stillborn experience. I
think that it talks about thoughts and goals that can just die. When you
first conceive thoughts, before you put forth any action, sometimes they
seem so beautiful, but then when it is all done you look back and it wasn't
quite like you imagined.

I think it's great that so many young people, like myself, are interested
in Plath's work. I personally never heard of her until I was assigned a
project for school, ever since I've been in love with reading and
interpreting her writing.

Comment 6 of 70, added on October 16th, 2005 at 12:55 AM.

This poem seems to be about Silva Plath's discontentment with herself as a
poet and as a person. Though she acheived many great things in her
lifetime, she continuously felt inadequate, like no matter how well she
did, It could never be good enough. she could never live up to her own
standards. This pom partly deals with that. She felt that her poems could
never breathe any life.

Comment 5 of 70, added on July 3rd, 2005 at 10:42 PM.

The first time I read this poem, I thought it was referring to Sylvia
Plath's stillborn daughter. But after seeing the comments from the
Australian girl Jenny, I interpreted the poem to being talking about the
poem itself. As a writer, I often times am frustrated about one thing, and
will sit down to write about it. Most of the time, the poem that comes out
has nothing to do with what's bothering me... perhaps Sylvia was looking at
the poem, with it's 3 stanzas with five lines each. It looks like a poem,
with all of the things a poem is supposed to have, but since it isn't about
what is bothering her, it holds no life, no relief for whatever emotion she
is trying to convey. She could've been frustrated that she spent time on a
poem that does nothing for her, just stares back stupidly from the page she
wrote it on.... I've been there with some of my poems... I'm not saying
this is right... it's just my opinion and a possibility.

Heather from United States
Comment 4 of 70, added on June 26th, 2005 at 5:38 PM.

I know very little about Sylvia Plath. Something sparked my curiosity about
her work. It was shocking to realize the title perfectly described the
content. Many of us well know what Sylvia describes. For myself, I could
not have expressed our common experience as effectivly. This poem is of
great comfort to me. I feel by sharing it with those whom I love (and who
loved my son)they may gain more understanding. I only pray more woman may
find this poem and the comfort it has given me. Most only dream of angles
but we have held them in our arms.

Connie - 40 from United States
Comment 3 of 70, added on May 18th, 2005 at 7:42 PM.

Wow a 14 year old male likes Sylvia Plath? None of my male friends have
even heard of her, and they're a good deal older than you.

This is the sort of poem that makes my stomach swim. It could be analyzed
but I'd rather feel it than think it.

Alanna from United Kingdom
Comment 2 of 70, added on March 16th, 2005 at 1:36 AM.

this is a depressing poem about sylvia's experience with stillborns. she
has a history of giving birth to stillborn children and is tking out her
grief in this poem. the hwhole meaning of this poem is that she cannot
understand why they wont move- since they are full and perfect "And still
the lungs wont fill and the heart wont start". she is saying that she loved
them before they were born and that they are not dead from lack of motherly
love. Read on and analyse this poem line by line. the interesting part is
the hidden meanings in each of the lines. the part -> "They sit so nicely
in the pickling fluid" you may say EEEEWWWW when you first see that line
but if you read through the poem alot and find the hidden meanings, you
will find that she actullary means that the fluid is her memmory. that
whole verse is describing the baby not as she sees them, but how she
remembers them. I could go on for hours about the meanings of each line but
i do have an assignment to do on this poem! thanks. have fun extracting the
meanings of the words. if you are doing an assignment on this poem and need
some tips email me.

Jessica 15 from Australia
Comment 1 of 70, added on January 10th, 2005 at 4:37 PM.

This is one of my favorite poems. This poem, not like others, speak to you
in a way that nobody else could. Like the feeling you get when it's just
you walking on the warm sandy beach, just thinking. Like the feeling you
get when you get to hold a young innocent baby. This is the kind of poem
that a 14 year old, like myself, enjoys.

Jacob from United States

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Information about Stillborn

Poet: Sylvia Plath
Poem: Stillborn
Volume: The Collected Poems
Year: 1960
Added: Feb 20 2003
Viewed: 2497 times
Poem of the Day: Nov 30 2015

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