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Morning Song Analysis

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

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Love set you going like a fat gold watch.

The midwife slapped your footsoles, and your bald cry

Took its place among the elements.

Our voices echo, magnifying your arrival. New statue.

In a drafty museum, your nakedness

Shadows our safety. We stand round blankly as walls.

I'm no more your mother

Than the cloud that distills a mirror to reflect its own slow

Effacement at the wind's hand.

All night your moth-breath

Flickers among the flat pink roses. I wake to listen:

A far sea moves in my ear.

One cry, and I stumble from bed, cow-heavy and floral

In my Victorian nightgown.

Your mouth opens clean as a cat's. The window square

Whitens and swallows its dull stars. And now you try

Your handful of notes;

The clear vowels rise like balloons.


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

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The baby is precious and wanted like gold. Its heart is beating like a watch, but time is winding down. Its cry is "bald" and elemental, pure, unadorned by any- particulary painful-human emotions, but give it time!
The gathered welcoming committee are looking and talking, somehow making the event more important than it really is. What is the point of life if it ends in death- very Plath. The imagery places the child in a museum- a place for dead and stuffed things. The baby is in its own Bell Jar- a specimen. It is naked reminding Plath of her own and other people's vulnerability. vulnerability. No-one really understands the meaning of life and death.
A cloud is metaphorically mother to a puddle/mirror: it has created it through raindrops, and its reflection in the puddle shows how it is beind wiped out by the personified wind. Similarly Plath is mother to the baby. She sees herself in the child, but she also sees the passage of time and her eventual effacement. like the cloud which is dispersed by the wind, time and death will wipe her out. Because of this she feels somehow unconnected to the child. Its birth is not really a happy event but only a reminder of things to come.
The baby's hold on life is fragile "moth breath". The roses she has been brought are "flat"-classical depression- post natal? sea of life and birth?- not for Plath its a sea of death.
Motherly instincts kick in and she attends to the child's needs, but she feels ugly and dowdy:" cow heavy and floral" Does she have a problem with sex? "Victorian nightgown"
The flat roses of earlier are continued with the "dull stars" which are swallowed, eaten, destroyed, effaced.
The rounded baby sounds-the ees, oos, and aahs rise and fade into space- into the far sea. The imagery in this last verse is tender and very sad.

| Posted on 2008-10-22 | by a guest

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