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Cut Analysis

Author: poem of Sylvia Plath Type: poem Views: 39

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     for Susan O'Neill Roe

What a thrill ----

My thumb instead of an onion.

The top quite gone

Except for a sort of hinge

Of skin,

A flap like a hat,

Dead white.

Then that red plush.

Little pilgrim,

The Indian's axed your scalp.

Your turkey wattle

Carpet rolls

Straight from the heart.

I step on it,

Clutching my bottle

Of pink fizz. A celebration, this is.

Out of a gap

A million soldiers run,

Redcoats, every one.

Whose side are they one?

O my

Homunculus, I am ill.

I have taken a pill to kill

The thin

Papery feeling.


Kamikaze man ----

The stain on your

Gauze Ku Klux Klan


Darkens and tarnishes and when

The balled

Pulp of your heart

Confronts its small

Mill of silence

How you jump ----

Trepanned veteran,

Dirty girl,

Thumb stump.


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

.: :.

Sylvia Plath was extremely fascinated with psychological pains and ills, and knowledge of her general biography, and having read her novel, The Bell Jar, leads mo to believe that there is more to this poem than a women cutting her finger. My guess is that she has cut her own thumb purposefully, then in a moment of dazed awe, merely watches her blood flow. She later bandages the wound with a babushka, which is a type of scarf. There are aspects that lead one to believe that this poem is very dark and nearly suicidal in nature. The most blatantly obvious line that suggests suicidal thought is (unless I am misinterpreting this horribly wrong),\"Homunculus, I am ill./I have taken a pill to kill.\" She also says \"This thin papery feeling./ Saboteur,/ Kamikaze man.\" The word \"Saboteur\" means \"to sabotage,\" and a Kamikaze is \"a person who acts in a destructive or reckless manner.\" I believe that in this poem, the character cuts her thumb to experiment with the idea of self-destruction, then \"chickens out,\" if you will. She bandages her wound and calls herself a \"dirty girl\" for starting, but not finishing her own suicide.

| Posted on 2012-06-14 | by a guest

.: :.

the poem is merely plath's reflection of everything she notices after having cut her thumb. it is quite fascinating that she uses an array of various metaphors and imagery to make what we would all see as a rather normal occurence such as cutting ones own finger and make it into something extravagent.

| Posted on 2008-09-05 | by a guest

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