Poets | Poem of the Day | Top 40 | Search | Comments | Privacy
May 30th, 2015 - we have 234 poets, 8,025 poems and 288,562 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] 46 47

Comment 26 of 466, 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 466, 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 466, 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 466, 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 466, 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

Amber from United States
Comment 21 of 466, added on December 20th, 2005 at 5:09 PM.

this poem isn't regretful. she's realizing what it is to be pregnant.
lemme break it down:

"I'm a riddle in nine syllables."
First letter of the poem is the 9th letter of the alphabet. 9 lines, each 9
syllables, reflecting 9 months of gestation.

"An elephant, a ponderous house,"
The elephant represents her enlarged state, and a ponderous house is also
an image of her big, clumsy body, but more importantly, its a metaphor for
her unborn childs "house". her womb is the dwelling place of this baby and
in it, it is provided all life-sustaining necessities.

"A melon strolling on two tendrils."
An image of her big, round belly resting on her thin legs.

"O red fruit, ivory, fine timbers!"
these three images describe the child, in relation to the previous
descriptions of herself.
red fruit = the ripe fruit of her "melon"
ivory = the precious, valuable ivory from this "elephant"
fine timbers = the wood that's part of this "house". also, timbers are made
from existing trees, just as this baby is made from Sylvia.

"This loaf's big with its yeasty rising."
Another reference to her belly that's rising as it grows. her stomach is
the harder, exposed crust while her baby is the unexposed, warm, soft

"Money's new-minted in this fat purse."
The comparison of money being minted is a metaphor for her baby as an
imprint of herself. she is stamping out a copy of herself, and minting a
new person. this coin is "new-minted" because it is unique--different from
all othe existing coins. money is also an appropriate comparison because it
is valuable, just as this baby is to her.

"I'm a means, a stage, a cow in calf."
a means = shes the way this baby will be brought about
a stage = a stage of this baby's life, step in development, a landing place
and a platform for this baby
a cow in calf = as a calf is normally in a cow, she is the cow in her calf.
her baby is a copy of herself, and she is invested in this baby.

"I've eaten a bag of green apples,"
a reference to her cravings as a pregnant woman

"boarded the train, there's no getting off."
the train ride is a metaphor for her journey of pregnancy and her new plath
in life. Now that she is pregnant, she knows she will forever be bound to
this child. it will always be her baby. there's no exiting this ride.

now, this REALLY isnt a difficult poem to analyze. id say its pretty
straightforward. i wa sso surprised to read such crappy interpretations and
analysis. what are schools teaching kids these days...

jessica from United States
Comment 20 of 466, added on December 9th, 2005 at 4:03 PM.

"a melon strolling on 2 tendrills????? 0o0o0o0o0o0 a carrage with a baby ok
i get it.......i think"

The melon represents Sylvia herself (think large stomach), and the tendrils
are her legs. Two tendrils, and two legs. Tendrils grasp on to objects
for support, much like the tendril of a grape plant. And strolling just
means she is walking.

poemGuy from United States
Comment 19 of 466, added on December 6th, 2005 at 9:49 PM.

another way of analyzing this poem is not to think of it as a pregnancy at
all but instead note the line "i've eaten a bag of green apples" which
could mean she has eaten a bag of unripe, sour apples which, as any country
girl can tell you, will give you horrible gas. So in reviewing the poem the
yeast rising and other bloated imagery are of the bloated gassy feeling
from overindulging on unripe apples. Therefore the last line of the poem
"boarded the train there's no getting off" is the remorse she is feeling
after eating the apples of this impending gas.

May from United States
Comment 18 of 466, added on November 4th, 2005 at 8:47 AM.

This poem is great. I really like how it is light-hearted compared to alot
of her other poems.

Desirae from United States
Comment 17 of 466, added on August 25th, 2005 at 1:35 AM.

I think it's a good poem...........
there are nine line's in the poem she describe's how she love's her
pregnancy(nine letters) how long dose it take for a baby too come out (nine
months) by the way the first letter she use'es is the nineth letter in the
alaphbets(I ) am a riddle>>>>>>>>>> and also all the sentince has nine
syllables................... what claver lady.......................

Amreet from United States

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] 46 47
Share |

Information about Metaphors

Poet: Sylvia Plath
Poem: Metaphors
Volume: The Collected Poems
Year: 1959
Added: Feb 21 2003
Viewed: 3732 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)
Show E-mail Address:
Yes No
Poem Comments:

Poem Info

Plath Info
Copyright © 2000-2015 Gunnar Bengtsson. All Rights Reserved. Links