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Comment 45 of 95, added on June 14th, 2009 at 6:09 AM.
I interpreted this as a poem about Sylvia's manic depression. The use of
Persephone, the goddess of fertility bound by two worlds, is a great
metaphor for Sylvia, a woman bound by the troubles of being a woman, and
the delight of being a mother.
Like the seasons change, so do her emotions. Except not monthly, but
"daylong". More so, the idea of how Persephone was stricken from her
comfortable life on earth every six months can speak for the recurring
theme of Sylvias struggle between being a mother, and being a writer.
However you can't say whether being a mother, or being a writer was her
hell so to speak. Rather, both of them were. The fact that she had to
choose was her nightmare.
Cameron Matamua from New Zealand
Comment 44 of 95, added on May 24th, 2007 at 8:21 PM.
Plaths peom of "Two Sisters of Persephone" describe the two sides of
Perspehone from the Greek mythology. We know from the mythological story
that Hades, god of the underworld and the dead, had taken Persephone down
to his dark world. Pershpones mother had begged Hades to give her back her
daughter and Zeus made them compromise, Hades would get Persephone half of
the year and her mother, Demeter, would get her the other half of the year.
While Persephone was with her mother she was happy and so the earth went
through spring and summer, but while she went to the dark underwold with
Hades, Persephone was sad and gloomy and so we have winter, when the earth
is cold and barren. Plaths poem makes and allusion to this myth in that she
uses dichotomies to describe the two sides of Persephone through two
One interesting thing about Plaths writing is that she uses enjambment in
her writing, in the first stanza of this poem get an introduction to the
"two sisters" and then she goes into the first sister without the use of
punctuation. The first sister is described as "shade" (line 3) and being in
a dark place so right away we see that this is making a refrence to winter
and the time Persphone spends with Hades.
The second sister is describes as "light" (line 3), "bronzed as the earth"
(line 13), and "sun's bride" (line 21) and that makes a refrence that this
is Perspehone when she is with her mother and so she is a metaphor for
Jamie Islas (Curie HS Student)
from United States
Comment 43 of 95, added on February 10th, 2006 at 11:02 AM.
This poem actually reminded me of my younger sister and myself when we were
younger. She was seen as the perfect child that knew so much, was so
gifted, and perfect in every way. I was the lackadaisical child that was
ignorant and pathetic and would amount to nothing. This poem makes me
remember how my sister was to be "the perfect woman" and I was not a woman
Kedran Mackenzie from United States
Comment 42 of 95, added on January 18th, 2006 at 2:57 PM.
I thought that this poem was very interesting because of all the
juxtapositions of adjectives and nouns, in addition to all the puns that
are used throughout.
Amethyst from United Kingdom
Comment 41 of 95, added on November 30th, 2005 at 5:34 PM.
I think that Plath really captured the two roles of Persephone well. The
language used to show the contrast of the two roles was very effective,
leading you to believe that the poem could have been about to completely
BB from United States
Comment 40 of 95, added on November 30th, 2005 at 8:44 AM.
I think everyone can relate to this poem in one way or another. It
represents the different sides of Persephone, and we are all seen
differently by people we surround ourselves with. The symbolism and
adjectives make this a very powerful poem that brings many different images
to your mind. My favorite part of the poem was the part about the poppies.
I love how Plath used the flowers to represent Persephone's sexuality and
"fertility" as well as her youth and inexperience. The last lines of this
poem represent the way many people have viewed women throughout time: "goes
graveward with flesh laid to waste" shows that people believe that women's
only purpose is to bear children and give men what they need.
"Worm-husbanded, yet no woman" backs this idea up as well, by saying that
since she never served a man in her life she shouldn't be seen as a real
and proper woman.
Brianna from United States
Comment 39 of 95, added on November 29th, 2005 at 11:54 PM.
For the most part the poem was very interesting. The first time I read the
poem I didn’t quite understand what was going on. I figured that the poem
described two girls from different worlds somewhat connected. However, as I
re-read the poem I noticed that even though there were two voices
intertwined there was only one speaker in this poem. From that I realize
that the speaker was having some psychological issues within herself to
find out who she really is; a nut.
Shanique from United States
Comment 38 of 95, added on November 29th, 2005 at 8:17 PM.
This poem is interesting because it tells the story of a Greek Mythology in
a way that shows an underlying story of good and evil. On the one hand it
shows a woman who is disciplined and who is a portrayal of a perfect woman,
and on the other there is a woman who nothing is expected of, who is not
even cosidered a woman at all. The woman portrays good, while the person
who is considered a 'non-woman' is considered eveil because she brings
darkness, or winter, to the world while the other brings happiness and
sunlight, or summer. I liked the figurative language in the poem and also
the imagery. Also, the words chosen in this poem are very powerful and are
what make the poem what it is.
from United States
Comment 37 of 95, added on November 29th, 2005 at 7:43 PM.
I was fasinated by tge descriptions in this poem. It really caught my
attention. There are alot of symbolism and questions to be answer like are
sisters symbolizing Sylvia. Its great a poem after carefully understanding
all the metaphors and symbolism within it.
from United States
Comment 36 of 95, added on November 29th, 2005 at 6:04 PM.
This poem reminds me of the two sisters, Tita and Rosaura, in the novel
Like Water for Chocolate. They were a lot like these two sisters because
of the diverse paths of life that they were given. One was fated to be
married and the other to die a virgin. In the poem, the two sisters have
many similarities and differences or “shade and light” between them, just
like Tita and Rosaura. The fact that Plath used “a mathematical machine”
to describe their lives has a connotation of fact and precision as if there
is no room for chance; their “sum” or destiny is set in stone. The sister
that has a “barren enterprise” is the unfortunate sister, who is going to
die a virgin. She is the one who is left with a lack of a future and her
deranged features are signs of her dismay with this foretelling. She dies
“worm-husbanded” and being that worms are a sign of decay and decomposition
this may be symbolism that she died never married- the decay of her
fertility and ability to wed. “Yet no woman” also confirms this
interpretation because it refers to her virginity and that she was never
made into a “woman” because of a lack of a husband. While the other, is
left with a “bright” future full of fertility, since the imagery refers to
a lot of vegetation and happiness, since she marries “on that green alter”
and bears a son, “a king.”
Lauren Walker from United States
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