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Analysis and comments on Tulips by Sylvia Plath

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Comment 15 of 45, added on March 19th, 2007 at 12:29 PM.

There is nothing wrong with taking Plath as a role model. Taking someone as
a role model doesn't mean entirely duplicating his or her life! Plath was a
dedicated, driven, passionate and inspiring person and writer and she has
most certainly been a role model for me! I understood your point though....

Anni from United Kingdom
Comment 14 of 45, added on May 1st, 2006 at 12:58 AM.

Ok i have been doing research on sylvia plaths work for an extended essay
for english literature. During the time she wrote this poem she was in
hospital for an appendoctomy hence the imagery which suggests she is in
one. "I am nobody" and " i have given my name and my day clothes up to the
nurses". Plath longs for a loss of personal identity this is because she is
tied down by people she wants to be free, free of all the problems and
responsibilities she has. In the poem she also makes reference to people i
beleive the nurses "my body is a pebble to them, tend it as water". pebbles
begin life as rocks they are sharp have rough corners but when they fall
into a river the water molds them to become smooth and without sharp edges.
This is what people are doing to her trying to change the imperfetions she
has. She says that they bring her numbness in their needles. Its not a
negative statement she enjoys the sedative state which they bring her, she
can escape from her troubles. Its like she is living a dead like existance.
The reason she hates the tulips so much is because they create memories for
her. The memories she remembers creates feelings of sadness or happiness it
makes no difference they are still ruining her sedative life. Plus we have
all experienced the feeling when something reminds you of something you
didnt enjoy in your life and you stomach sinks and you get a rush of
sadness i believe this is what the tulips are doing to her creating that
feeling. Once again the idea of her objectifying herself is explored again
when she says she wants to efface herself. Anyway i hope that gives an
insight but go with your first instincts on poetry its usually the right

Laura from Australia
Comment 13 of 45, added on April 24th, 2006 at 9:42 PM.

Sylvia Plath’s 1961 poem ‘Tulips’ is a morose story told by a women on her
hospital bed seeing the world as if she would rather not be a part of it.
She is haunted by the tulips whom she says “eat my oxygen” and she is
“sick of all the baggage” that her life has burdened her with. The tulips
remind her of everything that she has left behind in the world outside of
“white walls” and the sterile hospital environment where she is able to be
“numb” and forget her troubles. She feels an inadequacy and the tulips are
mocking her and bring her senses back to the world that she has
purposefully made herself “utterly empty” of.

Erin from Australia
Comment 12 of 45, added on April 18th, 2006 at 2:17 AM.

This poem is not bad. because its nice of this poem. i can analysis essay
and easy to reads and wrighting. until than its nice of this poem. sylvia
plath is very smart and looking nice women. we are like this sylvia plath.
so you are encourages me and my friends.

prasanna from India
Comment 11 of 45, added on February 20th, 2006 at 9:32 PM.

Although Sylvia Plath did have a miscarriage, I've often heard that this
poem is in fact about her appendectomy. Less deep, but I think Plath's
depressive background clouds people's readings of the poems.

Tori from United States
Comment 10 of 45, added on November 18th, 2005 at 6:24 AM.

the woman described in the poem is in the hospital because she has just
suffered from a miscarriage, this of course shows the autobiographic and
thus confessional aspect of Plath's poetry, and this poem in particular!the
photo she has include her husband and her child! the narrator describes how
this woman has escaped from her individuality, her own personal identity.
the colour white represents this nothingness, she now lives in her own
reality, doesn't want to be reminded of the real world because this will
hurt her too much. she's afraid of society's jugdements, the (mental) pain
she has suffered from since she was little. the tulips remind her of daily
life, the real world, reality; the colour red resembles reality, and the
pain that comes with it. the bright red colour disturbs the peacefulness of
the room, of the woman's formal state of mind. it reminds her of what has
happened to her, how she has failed to give birth to her baby and all the
pain she's had to go through during her life. A sad, but beautiful poem!

Comment 9 of 45, added on October 25th, 2005 at 5:24 AM.

I think that this poem is less deep than some people think, but still very
meaningful. To my mind, she is has suffered an accident, perhaps in a
boat, and her husband and child have died. "Their smiles catch at my skin,
little smiling hooks." I think that these recollections are taken from the
time that she goes under the anesthetic, and she is remeniscing about
seeing her "teaset, my bureaus of linen, my books / sink out of sight."
But rather than becoming morbid or depressed about the loss of her husband
and child, (which, by the way, had been successfully born, how else could
their be a photo?) she is recovering, "learning peacefulness, lying by
myself quietly." She does, however, have moments where she is struggling
with the loss. "The peacefulness is so big it dazes." Any thoughts?

Barnaby from Australia
Comment 8 of 45, added on October 25th, 2005 at 5:21 AM.

Hi, just a small note. I am studying this poem for a recital tomorrow, and
i noted a spelling error :p
7th stanza, line 5 i think, "I hAve..."
A beatuiful poem, and one that takes on new meaning every time you write it
or hear it or speak it. B

Barnaby from Australia
Comment 7 of 45, added on October 12th, 2005 at 7:27 AM.

This poem made me cry... the unrelenting despair tore through me... how
slyvia recognised that every moment of life was suffering... but was lost
for a way out of such a dreaded realisation. Existence is suffering. What
then? Her answer here seems to be nothingness... is existence is suffering,
then nothingnes is the only solution. Such an idea is at the root of much
despair in this world, and must be faced, and overcome.
I cried because I felt such despair, such a helpless wish to be done with
existence. If only she could have seen that there was hope in the face of

John from Ireland
Comment 6 of 45, added on September 18th, 2005 at 8:44 AM.

role model? i understand if you like her poetry..its pure genious but i
dont think she should be your role model unless your goal in life is to be
depressed and die

bonnie from Norway

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Information about Tulips

Poet: Sylvia Plath
Poem: Tulips
Volume: The Collected Poems
Year: 1961
Added: Feb 20 2003
Viewed: 27063 times

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