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Sylvia Plath - Sow

God knows how our neighbor managed to breed
His great sow:
Whatever his shrewd secret, he kept it hid

In the same way
He kept the sow--impounded from public stare,
Prize ribbon and pig show.

But one dusk our questions commended us to a tour
Through his lantern-lit
Maze of barns to the lintel of the sunk sty door

To gape at it:
This was no rose-and-larkspurred china suckling
With a penny slot

For thrift children, nor dolt pig ripe for heckling,
About to be
Glorified for prime flesh and golden crackling

In a parsley halo;
Nor even one of the common barnyard sows,
Mire-smirched, blowzy,

Maunching thistle and knotweed on her snout-
cruise--
Bloat tun of milk
On the move, hedged by a litter of feat-foot ninnies

Shrilling her hulk
To halt for a swig at the pink teats. No. This vast
Brobdingnag bulk

Of a sow lounged belly-bedded on that black
compost,
Fat-rutted eyes
Dream-filmed. What a vision of ancient hoghood
must

Thus wholly engross
The great grandam!--our marvel blazoned a knight,
Helmed, in cuirass,

Unhorsed and shredded in the grove of combat
By a grisly-bristled
Boar, fabulous enough to straddle that sow's heat.

But our farmer whistled,
Then, with a jocular fist thwacked the barrel nape,
And the green-copse-castled

Pig hove, letting legend like dried mud drop,
Slowly, grunt
On grunt, up in the flickering light to shape

A monument
Prodigious in gluttonies as that hog whose want
Made lean Lent

Of kitchen slops and, stomaching no constraint,
Proceeded to swill
The seven troughed seas and every earthquaking
continent.

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Added: Feb 20 2003 | Viewed: 1917 times | Comments and analysis of Sow by Sylvia Plath Comments (10)

Sow - Comments and Information

Poet: Sylvia Plath
Poem: Sow

Comment 10 of 10, added on May 15th, 2012 at 8:46 AM.
This poem

Does it matter what this poem conveys? The fact that it has meant so many different things to different people shows how much power it has! This poem has managed to make you all have your own interpretation! It evidently does not only mean one thing - it means what ever you interpret it to mean.

M. x from United Kingdom
Comment 9 of 10, added on November 20th, 2009 at 12:20 PM.

This poem definitely contains a message. Sylvia Plath's poems almost always contain a message and it is ridiculous to asssume that there is no meaning in any of them without extensive research on the poem. At the very least, the emotions that she exerts through her work is worth mentioning as a theme.

Kelsey from United States
Comment 8 of 10, added on May 6th, 2009 at 10:12 PM.

I honestly think there are some poems with absolutely NO hidden meanings... this would be one of them.

Bella from United States

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