Comment 2 of 3, added on May 30th, 2005 at 5:02 PM.
You want analyzation? Can't do it, but I've got analysis.
This poem is about memory and how it affects the present. The first stanza
describes an idyllic landscape, probably a childhood memory (hence
'blameless as daylight'; childhood innocence). A line runs over into the
next stanza, suggesting the fluidity of memory. The imagery suggests memory
by the use of 'monochrome', 'dark'; Only the past and our memory of it can
be monochrome, not our present perception.
Suddenly the poet is struck in the eye, an incident which warps her
perception of the idyllic landscape. It is likely that the splinter is a
metaphor for a sinful/shameful event involving her parents, provoking her
dreams that she is Oedipus (who killed his father, slept with his mother
and put out his own eyes in grief). We know that Plath had a difficult
relationship with her father, which supports this analysis.
The splinter distorts her perception of the positive aspects of her
childhood, leaving her unable to appreciate the good because she is trying
to avoid the bad (hence the hospital- recovery- imagery that leaves her
feeling trapped; 'Before the bed, before the knife,/Before the brooch-pin
and the salve/Fixed me in this parenthesis'). What she 'wants back' is her
childhood before the sinful incident symbolised by the splinter, an
incident she cannot escape ('it has stuck'). She feels she needs her past
to hold her in place just as the leaves in her idyll are 'steadily rooted'.
Without it, she cannot conceive of a future ('blind to what will be and
what was') Note that in the last two, analytical stanzas, the lines do not
run over; she is now in the present.
from United States