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Insomniac Analysis



Author: Poetry of Sylvia Plath Type: Poetry Views: 915

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The Collected Poems1961The night is only a sort of carbon paper,

Blueblack, with the much-poked periods of stars

Letting in the light, peephole after peephole --

A bonewhite light, like death, behind all things.

Under the eyes of the stars and the moon's rictus

He suffers his desert pillow, sleeplessness

Stretching its fine, irritating sand in all directions.Over and over the old, granular movie

Exposes embarrassments--the mizzling days

Of childhood and adolescence, sticky with dreams,

Parental faces on tall stalks, alternately stern and tearful,

A garden of buggy rose that made him cry.

His forehead is bumpy as a sack of rocks.

Memories jostle each other for face-room like obsolete film stars.He is immune to pills: red, purple, blue --

How they lit the tedium of the protracted evening!

Those sugary planets whose influence won for him

A life baptized in no-life for a while,

And the sweet, drugged waking of a forgetful baby.

Now the pills are worn-out and silly, like classical gods.

Their poppy-sleepy colors do him no good.His head is a little interior of grey mirrors.

Each gesture flees immediately down an alley

Of diminishing perspectives, and its significance

Drains like water out the hole at the far end.

He lives without privacy in a lidless room,

The bald slots of his eyes stiffened wide-open

On the incessant heat-lightning flicker of situations.Nightlong, in the granite yard, invisible cats

Have been howling like women, or damaged instruments.

Already he can feel daylight, his white disease,

Creeping up with her hatful of trivial repetitions.

The city is a map of cheerful twitters now,

And everywhere people, eyes mica-silver and blank,

Are riding to work in rows, as if recently brainwashed.






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

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The way Plath refers to the night sky "only" being a sort of carbon paper portrays a desire for something more. In the second stanza, we are introduced into her thoughts whilst trying to sleep, and the quotes "embarrassments" and "stern and tearful" depict her displeasure with her memories. The "memories jostle" - the thoughts keeping her awake.
In the third stanza, we come to Plath discussing sleeping pills. Plath herself took an overdose of sleeping pills in an attempt to end her own life. She discusses the array of pills that she has tried "red, purple, blue", and the line "a life baptized in no-life for a while" portrays her yearning for an escape (through suicide?).
"Gray mirrors" depicts her self-reflection

| Posted on 2014-04-20 | by a guest


.: :.

this poem is about her insomnia, not a man that she knew!!!.. She refers to her insomnia itself as a \"he\" because it is almost like a monster terrorizing her in every way he can

| Posted on 2012-10-18 | by a guest


.: :.

This poem was pretty cool. I liked it lots. I hope you find this review highly satisfying sexually.
Jacob Gosciniak, 12, negro

| Posted on 2011-01-07 | by a guest


.: :.

I do not know if anybody has read 'The Bell Jar' By Plath but there is a section within it when she describes her own insomnia, and how her mother used to give her the sleeping pills in duration. When Plath realises that the pills are not working she keeps them behind. thus becoming the aid to her first suicide attempt.
As in 'The Bell Jar' Plath has used another person to convey her feeling hiding them as her own, although this time through a man. Through poetry and other people Plath finds it easiest to present her feelings.
L.R.Slade

| Posted on 2009-05-10 | by a guest


.: :.

English task
Insomniac is a metaphor for Plath’s suicidal complex; I believe that she is using the common medical condition of insomnia as a way to connect with her audience the prominence of depression in our lives.
“Letting in the light, peephole after peephole- a bone white light, like death, behind all things” Is a perfect example of how she or the subject sees death as a savior and yet taunts them as they cannot pass to death, or in the case of the subject can’t sleep. “He suffers his desert pillow, sleeplessness stretching its fine, irritating sand in all directions.”
The idea of isolation is prominent throughout the poem and is explored in several separate ways. In the second stanza the idea of being different seems to be almost traumatizing, “Over and over the old, granular movie exposes embarrassments- the mizzling days of childhood and adolescence…” As if these memories were haunting their lives.
The third stanza is a more frustrated and desperate attempt at escapism from the world in which they do not belong, “He is immune to pills; Red purple, blue- How they lit the tedium of the protracted evening! Those sugary planets whose influence won for him a life baptized in a no-life for a while,” could this be a euphemized comment on Plath’s attempted suicide?
The fourth stanza I saw to be his own internal conflicts terrorizing his psyche and essentially his conscious state of mind, he can’t hide from himself in the darkness, “His head is a little interior of grey mirrors, each gesture flees immediately down an alley of diminishing perspectives, and its significance drains like water out the hole at the far end.” Notice she uses the colour grey, as a modern poet Plath uses symbols to create meaning. Grey is the colour of indecision and confusion, so it is not surprising she uses this colour to describe the interior of the environment he/she looses the meaning and significance of each thought and emotion felt. Draining them like a funnel, void of clear thought patterns, much like that of a victim of insomnia and clinical depression.
As daylight emerges we see that he finds no salvation in the light, described as “his white disease”, like asbestos slowly killing those exposed to it. There is also a clear show of bitterness toward the modern world, “The city is a map of cheerful twitters now, and everywhere people, eyes mica-silver and blank, are riding to work in rows, as if recently brainwashed.” A comment on the almost lifeless way people seem to pass the time in their lives.
oliviaT

| Posted on 2008-09-04 | by a guest


.: :.

Plath's brilliant use of image and language gives us a wonderful poem about a man (past lover?) who suffers from insomnia. She gives us an understanding of the horrors he faces in not being able to sleep, and why he cannot sleep.
The language constantly refers to uncomftableness or suffering with such words as 'irritating', 'granular', 'sticky', 'bumpy', 'stiffened', 'incessant', and 'granite'. She brilliantly decribes the man's unconfortably night by using such words as 'tearful', 'disease', 'howling', 'made him cry', 'the tedium of the protracted evening!', and she constantly refers to death in such lines like 'A bonewhite light, like death, behind all things".
Thankyou. Tom Mc

| Posted on 2008-06-13 | by a guest


.: insomniac :P :.

crasyness.
Insomniac is about a man suffering from chrnic insomnia- he is hanted by his past experiences and memories from childhood and earlier on in life. Sylvia Plath probably related to this man because insomnia took over her too :]]

| Posted on 2008-02-11 | by a guest


.: insomniac :P :.

crasyness.
Insomniac is about a man suffering from chrnic insomnia- he is hanted by his past experiences and memories from childhood and earlier on in life. Sylvia Plath probably related to this man because insomnia took over her too :]]

| Posted on 2008-02-11 | by a guest


.: insomniac :.

Insomniac is about a man suffering from chrnic insomnia- he is hanted by his past experiences and memories from childhood and earlier on in life. Sylvia Plath probably related to this man because insomnia took over her too.

Slyvia's fixation with colours appears in the text, as she brings up 'bonewhite light' and pills that are 'red, purple, blue'.This adds great intensity to her work, as we are able to clearly imagine what she is talking about.

| Posted on 2006-06-05 | by Approved Guest




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