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Analysis and comments on Metaphors by Sylvia Plath

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Comment 31 of 451, added on June 18th, 2007 at 8:31 PM.

Many of these metaphors are euphimisms for pregnancy--for example, a cow in
calf is a very old reference to a pregnant cow. Similarly, eating a bag of
green apples causes one to bloat--that is,get big-bellied--therefore
another metaphor for pregnancy. Yeast makes bread rise--another euphemism.
(Compare to "a loaf in the oven," yet another but not appearing in this
poem.)

The line "O red fruit, ivory,fine timbers!" looks back to the melon, the
elephant, and the house.

Don't complicate things too much! And if you've ever been pregnant, once
that train leaves the station it is (or used to be) in fact too late--no
matter how one feels about the pregnancy.

Jane Austen from United States
Comment 30 of 451, added on May 26th, 2007 at 9:29 PM.

for the sake of god to students:)
The poem Metaphors is written by Sylvia Plath on 20th March 1959. The poem
is about her pregnancy as accepted by many critics, and the whole poem is
full of metaphors, the same as the title of the poem. Firstly on the first
line “The nine syllables” represent the nine months of pregnancy. Each line
having exactly nine syllables and containing nine lines is in reference to
her length of being pregnant. Each line has metaphorical meanings and
symbols. Approximately all words are use of metaphors in the poem the words
which are use of metaphors: riddle, elephant, ponderous horse, melon, two
tendrils, red fruit, fine timbers, this loaf, money, fat purse, means,
stage, a cow in calf, a bag of green apples, the train. That manner shows
us Sylvia Plath intended to write a poem full of metaphors as we understand
from the title and a sense of riddle, joy which surrounds the whole poem.
Elephant and ponderous horse indicates that she feels herself as moving so
slowly with huge stomach. “Red fruit, ivory and fine timbers.” creates the
feeling of how beautiful and special either she is feeling towards herself
and the baby. Melons on the third line represents the fetus that is
strolling on two tendrils, furthermore tendrils reminds the reader ovaries
of a woman. Also on the fourth line “The big loaf with yeasty rising”
resembles her stomach’s growing. On the fifth line “Money is new-minted on
that fat purse” here money represents the weights that she has got due to
pregnancy and also the fetus which made her appearance fatter. According to
some critics the sentence on the ninth line; ‘Boarded the train there's no
getting off.’ shows the regret of being pregnant of her but there is not
any concrete sign that this sentence shows the regret and also it can not
be proved that the poem has a negative, gloomy atmosphere.
The poem has nine lines and rhyme meter is set up on nine syllables
moreover the rhyme scheme is aaaabcdad. The persona is first person and the
vocabulary is not complex. There are very few adjectives because the writer
uses metaphors for defining the nouns. Also the sentences are simple.
/>

sedef from Turkey
Comment 29 of 451, added on February 21st, 2007 at 2:41 PM.

This poem is talking about Plath's Pregnancy. The nine syllables represent
the nine months of pregnancy. I think when she talks about the elephant
she's talking about how huge she feels. The melon strolling on two tendrils
is a description of Plath's belly starting to show. In the fourth line "O
red fruit, ivory,fine timbers!" I think she describing how special her
child is. In the next line she mentions a big loaf with yeasty rising which
refers to her belly getting bigger. I took the line describing how she ate
a bag a green apples two different ways. First I thought it was talking
about her new eating habits because now she's eating for two so instead of
just eating one apple she ate the whole bag. Secondly I looked at it like
the bag of apples was the actual baby itself, being heavy and lumpy. You
could look at the last line 2 different ways also. The train that she has
boarded and cant get off of is the pregnancy. There's no turning back and
you could look at the last three words in a humurous way "no getting off"
could mean that there's no sex for a while.

Chelsee from United States
Comment 28 of 451, added on April 22nd, 2006 at 3:13 PM.

You have very good taste in poetry, but I'm afraid Plath won't be giving
you any pointers since she's been dead for decades... she's a very famous
poet - Gwyneth Paltrow played her in a movie a couple years ago; you can
find most of her stuff online for free viewing, and I also recommend you
check out "The Bell Jar." It's a novel and most students have it assigned
at some point in their academic careers. Best wishes!

katherine from United States
Comment 27 of 451, added on April 13th, 2006 at 9:58 AM.

i really like your poem.i was just wondering if you can give me any
pointers on how to write poetry

kendra from United States
Comment 26 of 451, added on March 15th, 2006 at 9:04 PM.

This was a tricky poem.
At first, I thought it was an elephant speaking, but I guess it's about
parenthood....most likely pregnat..

ahem...ahem....*cough* from Samoa
Comment 25 of 451, added on February 8th, 2006 at 1:13 PM.

I can see why she killed herself. She was very morbid and had alot of self
doubt. Women who believe they are fat when carring a child should be
psychologically probed. She didn't like herself and when her husband left
her it made her feelings about herself even more concrete. For me the poem
was a window to who Sylvia Plath really was and anyone that knew her
personally should have gotten her some help maybe she would still be alive.

Jackie from United States
Comment 24 of 451, added on February 7th, 2006 at 3:40 PM.

I was looking at other analyses of this and found an interpretation of line
eight ("I've eaten a bag of green apples") which I hadn't seen posted yet
and wondered if it might help someone else the way it helped me. It may be
an allusion to the fruit of the Garden of Eden, adding Plath's wry humor to
pregnancy. Eating the "green apples" was like having sex: it was
pleasurable but has long-term consequences.

Ellie from United States
Comment 23 of 451, added on January 10th, 2006 at 10:14 PM.

the elephant part makes it seem as if she didn't want the baby as well as
the ponderous house. This reminds me of Hemmingway's Hills Like White
Elephants, as it speaks of a sumwhat unwanted pregnancy and boarding a
train- very similar infact.


Kristen from United States
Comment 22 of 451, added on January 8th, 2006 at 1:48 PM.

I really liked this poem. I didn't get it until I read the comments though.
It is very clever. I would have never thought of something like that. She's
good.

Amber from United States

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Information about Metaphors

Poet: Sylvia Plath
Poem: Metaphors
Volume: The Collected Poems
Year: 1959
Added: Feb 21 2003
Viewed: 1970 times
Poem of the Day: Aug 6 2004


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