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Stillborn Analysis



Author: Poetry of Sylvia Plath Type: Poetry Views: 1262

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The Collected Poems1960These poems do not live: it's a sad diagnosis.

They grew their toes and fingers well enough,

Their little foreheads bulged with concentration.

If they missed out on walking about like people

It wasn't for any lack of mother-love.O I cannot explain what happened to them!

They are proper in shape and number and every part.

They sit so nicely in the pickling fluid!

They smile and smile and smile at me.

And still the lungs won't fill and the heart won't start.They are not pigs, they are not even fish,

Though they have a piggy and a fishy air --

It would be better if they were alive, and that's what they were.

But they are dead, and their mother near dead with distraction,

And they stupidly stare and do not speak of her.






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

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it's almost satirical in tone when she's using gallows humor, especially in the last two lines of the first stanza.

| Posted on 2015-01-04 | by a guest


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Just the title of this poem is enough to speak of. "Stillborn" projects an image of a fetus, an unborn child, brought into the world dead. The hope's and dream's the mother had for her child are gone, stolen in an inexplicable tragedy. Plath becomes the mother to her poems in this piece. She is criticizing herself as a poet by calling her poems dead. By objectifying her "inabilities" she seems able to allow herself the disappointment she is feeling, and it lets her distance this negative emotion from herself. The imagery, as with most of Plath's works, is incredible "They grew their toes and fingers well enough, Their little foreheads bulged with concentration." She personifies her writing. Both her physical poems written on paper, and the words themselves. Many a poet or author feels this way at times. Plath has put it well into words.

| Posted on 2005-02-28 | by Deadly Sauce




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