Poets | Bookstore | Poem of the Day | Top 40 | Search | Comments | Privacy
November 28th, 2014 - we have 234 poets, 8,025 poems and 279,625 comments.
Analysis and comments on Metaphors by Sylvia Plath

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 
21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 [40]
41 42 43 44 45

Comment 54 of 444, added on June 4th, 2010 at 4:42 AM.
FRUCK U POE

I H8 ALLAN NIGGA CAMELTOE

Suzanne from Taiwan
Comment 53 of 444, added on June 4th, 2010 at 4:42 AM.
FRUCK U POE

I H8 ALLAN NIGGA CAMELTOE

Suzanne from Taiwan
Comment 52 of 444, added on June 4th, 2010 at 4:42 AM.
FRUCK U POE

I H8 ALLAN NIGGA CAMELTOE

Suzanne from Taiwan
Comment 51 of 444, added on June 2nd, 2010 at 11:17 AM.
Interpretation

This poem is definitely about how unhappy Plath was in the latter stages of

her pregnancy. Using terms like 'elephant' (think of Hemingway in Hills
Like White Elephants), 'ponderous house' and 'fat purse', Plath is
describing just how she feels. These metaphors, coupled with the 'bag of
green apples', which not only bloat you, but turn your stomach sour paint a

picture of a woman who feels dreadful. There is so much more to be
discovered in these nine simple lines, but suffice it to say that Plath
felt she had no control over her life at this point ('there's no getting
off') - and any woman who has been pregnant can understand that there comes

a point when you feel that you are merely a vessel for this 'red fruit'.
Plath was a desperately unhappy woman, and this is only too obvious in this

poem.



suman samprit from Zimbabwe
Comment 50 of 444, added on May 27th, 2010 at 9:55 AM.
beautiful

slyvia plath has beautifully written the poem to describe
the pain and suffering of women during pregnancy. However, I feel that she
has exaggerated the feelings which may create a kind of fear among newly
married brides and other women expecting child.

aditya from Nepal
Comment 49 of 444, added on April 19th, 2010 at 12:00 AM.
hotels in chanthaburi chanthaburi

Discuss On,debate ancient sight writer clothes contain drink adult
environmental pay due tea terrible past content index acid warn someone
horse vehicle leg ahead public daughter merely something low about
direction word passage close simply medical visit soil programme used
college prove permanent blue cost energy even business east low do employ
map percent use necessary remain silence room main actually hang attack
determine shot his short director set lose interpretation solution eye mind
map affect style strange typical drink spot satisfy for

hotels in chanthaburi chanthaburi
Comment 48 of 444, added on March 23rd, 2010 at 4:15 PM.

I disagree on the last line. A mother's job is not over when the pregnancy
is. She still has to raise the child. "Boarded the train, there's no
getting off" means she knows that this horrible state she's in is only the
beginning. She still has to raise the child that has made her feel so
awful. She is not looking forward to raising the child.

Rosie from United States
Comment 47 of 444, added on March 12th, 2010 at 1:54 AM.


In her brief nine-line poem, “Metaphors,” Sylvia Plath uses rich imagery to
dissect her role as a pregnant woman. Written in 1959, Plath was carrying
Frieda, her first child with British poet Ted Hughes when she wrote this
poem. As the name of the poem suggests, Plath uses a series of metaphors to
describe the desperate state she feels she is in during her pregnancy. The
way in which Plath frames the poem is very unique. She purposefully writes
the poem in nine lines, with nine syllables in each line, bringing to mind
the nine months during which she will carry the child in her womb. As is
characteristic of her poetry, Plath writes in the first person to make a
personal, human appeal by using the “I” voice.
Plath uses handily crafted metaphors to convey her feelings about
pregnancy. She describes herself as “an elephant” in the respect that she
is bloated and uncomfortably large, a “ponderous house” in the sense that
she is the clumsy structure which bears the child, and a “melon” in that
she is the tough external facade of something ripening inside of her.
Extending the metaphor into next line, “O red fruit, ivory, fine timbers,”
Plath uses the rhetorical device of synecdoche, that is, the use of a part
as referring to the whole, to describe her child. The use of this device is
remarkable in this case because she chooses to use the parts of each whole
which are the most valuable; the ripened fruit of the melon, the ivory of
the elephant’s tusks, and the fine timbers with which the house was
constructed. Plath here makes it clear that she believes the only
salvageable good of her pregnancy is the offspring. Yet despite this
“salvageable” aspect of the pregnancy, Plath feels like having to reduce
herself to a disgusting, bloated vessel whose only worth is that by virtue
of what it contains is degrading to her humanity. Plath in the seventh line
describes herself as “a means,” as if she were simply a nine-month
temporary incubator for the child. Once she embraces this imagery, reducing
her role to a “means,” Plath fully adopts an attitude of self-loathing, an
attitude whose seeds were planted when she used images like “a ponderous
house” and a “melon strolling on two tendrils” to describe her pregnant
self. Plath uses several more metaphors which speak of her ever-growing
belly and increasingly uncomfortable lifestyle. She, in line six, describes
herself as a “fat purse” holding valuable “money’s new-minted.” This image
further highlights Plath’s attitude toward her pregnant self, that she is
simply a receptacle whose worth exists only because of the “money
new-minted” which it holds. She feels like she is disgustingly grotesque,
and has relinquished her beauty, comfort, and humanity so that her child
may enter into the world. Plath’s feelings of self-loathing are furthered
by her feeling that she is trapped in her degraded state and that she can
in no way personally effect a change that can restore her humanity, that
is, that she “Boarded the train [and] there’s no getting off.” This final
line of the poem deserves some extra thought, though, because while it, in
one sense like the rest of the poem, it relates a general tone of
self-loathing, it, at the same time, reminds the reader of Plath’s
underlying humanity. The final line also acts, to some degree, as Plath’s
acceptance of her temporary role as a “means” as something which all
mothers much endure for their children, and a reminder that after the nine
months burden is lifted, she will return to her full humanity. Even though
the last line states that “there’s no getting off,” Plath reminds us
painstakingly by the nine line stanza and the nine syllables in each line
that she will “get off the train” once the nine months are through.
/>

James Yoder from Switzerland
Comment 46 of 444, added on March 6th, 2010 at 10:30 AM.
"Metaphors"

I agree with Ambrosia, but that is precisely what makes Plath so great -
she embodies the perfect paradox, beautiful misery. If you ever catch
yourself feeling too optimistic about the world, visit Ms. Plath. She'll
put things back in perspective. My favorite line is "O red fruit, ivory,
fine timbers." If you look at the previous lines, these are the objects of
"worth" that melons, elephants, and houses carry. She doesn't feel like a
person of personal worth anymore. She feels that has become simply a
vessel, whose only worth is carrying this child. I, personally have never
carried a child (for obvious reasons), but my wife tells me that she often
felt this way.

Ol' Mr. H from United States
Comment 45 of 444, added on January 19th, 2010 at 2:29 PM.
POEM METAPHORS

Well as a student currently studying in ub i think Plath is bitter and very
sour,in this poem she does not show any sign of happiness its lyk for her
pregnancy is a shameful thing but its only natural to us all

Ambrosia from Botswana

This poem has been commented on more than 10 times. Click below to see the other comments.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 
21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 [40]
41 42 43 44 45
Share |


Information about Metaphors

Poet: Sylvia Plath
Poem: Metaphors
Volume: The Collected Poems
Year: 1959
Added: Feb 21 2003
Viewed: 1226 times
Poem of the Day: Aug 6 2004


Add Comment

Do you have any comments, criticism, paraphrasis or analysis of this poem that you feel would assist other visitors in understanding this poem better? If they are accepted, they will be added to this page of American Poems. Together we can build a wealth of information, but it will take some discipline and determination.

Do not post questions, pleas for homework help or anything of the sort, as these types of comments will be removed. The proper place for questions is the poetry forum.

Please note that after you post a comment, it can take up to an hour before it is visible on the website! Rest assured that your comment is not lost, so don't enter your comment again.

Comment on: Metaphors
By: Sylvia Plath

Name: (required)
E-mail Address: (required)
Country:
Show E-mail Address:
Yes No
Subject:
Poem Comments:

Poem Info

Plath Info
Copyright © 2000-2012 Gunnar Bengtsson. All Rights Reserved. Links | Bookstore