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The Thin People Analysis

Author: Poetry of Sylvia Plath Type: Poetry Views: 282

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The Collected Poems1957They are always with us, the thin people

Meager of dimension as the gray peopleOn a movie-screen.They

Are unreal, we say:It was only in a movie, it was only

In a war making evil headlines when weWere small that they famished and

Grew so lean and would not roundOut their stalky limbs again though peace

Plumped the bellies of the miceUnder the meanest table.

It was during the long hunger-battleThey found their talent to persevere

In thinness, to come, later,Into our bad dreams, their menace

Not guns, not abuses,But a thin silence.

Wrapped in flea-ridded donkey skins,Empty of complaint, forever

Drinking vinegar from tin cups: they woreThe insufferable nimbus of the lot-drawn

Scapegoat.But so thin,So weedy a race could not remain in dreams,

Could not remain outlandish victimsIn the contracted country of the head

Any more than the old woman in her mud hut couldKeep from cutting fat meat

Out of the side of the generous moon when itSet foot nightly in her yard

Until her knife had paredThe moon to a rind of little light.

Now the thin people do not obliterateThemselves as the dawn

Grayness blues, reddens, and the outlineOf the world comes clear and fills with color.

They persist in the sunlit room: the wallpaperFrieze of cabbage-roses and cornflowers pales

Under their thin-lipped smiles,Their withering kingship.

How they prop each other up!We own no wilderness rich and deep enough

For stronghold against their stiffBattalions.See, how the tree boles flatten

And lose their good brownsIf the thin people simply stand in the forest,

Making the world go thin as a wasp's nestAnd grayer; not even moving their bones.


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