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Nick And The Candlestick Analysis

Author: poem of Sylvia Plath Type: poem Views: 21

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I am a miner. The light burns blue.
Waxy stalactites
Drip and thicken, tears

The earthen womb

Exudes from its dead boredom.
Black bat airs

Wrap me, raggy shawls,
Cold homicides.
They weld to me like plums.

Old cave of calcium
Icicles, old echoer.
Even the newts are white,

Those holy Joes.
And the fish, the fish----
Christ! They are panes of ice,

A vice of knives,
A piranha
Religion, drinking

Its first communion out of my live toes.
The candle
Gulps and recovers its small altitude,

Its yellows hearten.
O love, how did you get here?
O embryo

Remembering, even in sleep,
Your crossed position.
The blood blooms clean

In you, ruby.
The pain
You wake to is not yours.

Love, love,
I have hung our cave with roses.
With soft rugs----

The last of Victoriana.
Let the stars
Plummet to their dark address,

Let the mercuric
Atoms that cripple drip
Into the terrible well,

You are the one
Solid the spaces lean on, envious.
You are the baby in the barn.


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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The poem is not about the devil. Her son was called Nick and the poem was about him and her struggle through the pregnancy and the thought of motherhood obviously for the second time as she had a daughter as well. She committed suicide a year or so after so the poem is about depression which a lot of her poems are. But also that she does love the child that she is carrying despite the fear of not being able to cope and look after him like she should. because she was right in the end she couldn't go on and killed herself.

| Posted on 2016-04-18 | by a guest

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Nick means the devil therefore it could relate to that. #learning

| Posted on 2016-01-25 | by a guest

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The mention of fish in this poem is very eery because her son Nick went on to become a fisheries biologist...

| Posted on 2012-05-21 | by a guest

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That is not helpful, especially considering the fact that she had two kids and this poem was written to her son, Nick.

| Posted on 2010-11-27 | by a guest

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hey.. how u doin? just wanted to say that this poem reveals Plath's depression for not having a baby. She states in the poem that her womb is bored because there are no babies in it. Hope this might be helpful!

| Posted on 2010-05-15 | by a guest

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hi, i am taking my IB english oral and one of the poems i am studying is nick and the candlestick, and i really like your explanation. i am so sorry to ask you this but would you kind enough to help me? especially in part 4 where u describe the literary features?
thankyou so much

| Posted on 2010-02-08 | by a guest

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I analysed this poem for my english oral commentary but unfortunately it didn't come up so i thought throwing my notes would be a waste...
1- Content: this poem is about plath, experiencing motherhood. This reveals her maternal instincts towards her baby son and also her struggles through her pregnancy.
2- Style: Plath uses introspective style to make this whole poem seems real and vivid. eg. diction of 'gulp and recovers its small altitude'; 'gulp' creates sound which contributes to the meaning of the poem so the reader is aware of the hcild inside her. The sound of it also convey's plath's maternal instinct so the reader is ocncious of her adoration towards her baby.
3- 1st part of the poem, the tone is bleak and depressing. There are quite few grotesque images to ilustrate the painful pregnancy that Plath was going through. eg 'I am a miner'- being a miner is a dangerous job and this also relates to how being a mother is dangerous. 'I am' indicates that she is alone and has to bear all the pain by herself so she finds it quite depressing. There are alot of commas used in the first few stanzas to show slow pace to describe her long pregnancy. Punctuation reduces in the later part of the poem to show Plath giving birth. Sentences are short and jerky- moving from one thought to another. Later on, it gets more optimistic after giving birth. lines are smoother and thoughts are longer to show her affection. 'the blood cleans in you ruby'.
4- literary features- emjambemt- use to emphasise on a particular word or phrase eg 'old cave of calcium' additional pause to emphasise on the work calcium- refers to ger womb as empty and how long she has been without life.
....i am so lazy to write the rest. if you want the rest, let me know and i'll just scan my work coz i just cant be bothered to write the whole thing up ><

| Posted on 2010-01-31 | by a guest

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This poem displays many features of plath as a modern poet by her horrific imagry. In the first half of the poem, where she uses this section as a metaphor of depression. She begins with "waxy stalacites" to renfiroce the likness of the drops of wax on a candle to that of a cave (with a cave resembling dark empyness), she then describes her struggles to become pregnant with "the earthern womb" which gives the sense of barren emptyness of her body and her feelings towards being unable to conceive. She moves on throughout the first section by saying "a vice of knives" which creates a duality of image for knives being untensils or torture and the habit of violence she has.

| Posted on 2008-09-03 | by a guest

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