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Analysis and comments on The Eye-Mote by Sylvia Plath

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Comment 3 of 20, added on February 4th, 2006 at 8:13 PM.

The Eye-Mote was written after an actual experience, where Plath did have a
splinter in her eye, and took weeks to recover from it. While some of it
may be interpreted as metaphoric, it is largly based on her actual recovery

Katherine from Australia
Comment 2 of 20, 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.

Jed Wang from United States
Comment 1 of 20, added on November 19th, 2004 at 5:52 PM.

I have to do and analyzation of this poem. I do not find much sense in it
even after reading about Sylvia Plath's life. It seems quite a mess.
Although it can be interpreted to mean something, only a couple line make
sense. I really don't like it.

joshj from United States

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Information about The Eye-Mote

Poet: Sylvia Plath
Poem: The Eye-Mote
Volume: The Collected Poems
Year: 1959
Added: Feb 20 2003
Viewed: 1530 times
Poem of the Day: May 23 2012


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