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The Colossus Analysis

Author: poem of Sylvia Plath Type: poem Views: 27

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I shall never get you put together entirely,

Pieced, glued, and properly jointed.

Mule-bray, pig-grunt and bawdy cackles

Proceed from your great lips.

It's worse than a barnyard.

Perhaps you consider yourself an oracle,

Mouthpiece of the dead, or of some god or other.

Thirty years now I have labored

To dredge the silt from your throat.

I am none the wiser.

Scaling little ladders with glue pots and pails of Lysol

I crawl like an ant in mourning

Over the weedy acres of your brow

To mend the immense skull-plates and clear

The bald, white tumuli of your eyes.

A blue sky out of the Oresteia

Arches above us. O father, all by yourself

You are pithy and historical as the Roman Forum.

I open my lunch on a hill of black cypress.

Your fluted bones and acanthine hair are littered

In their old anarchy to the horizon-line.

It would take more than a lightning-stroke

To create such a ruin.

Nights, I squat in the cornucopia

Of your left ear, out of the wind,

Counting the red stars and those of plum-color.

The sun rises under the pillar of your tongue.

My hours are married to shadow.

No longer do I listen for the scrape of a keel

On the blank stones of the landing.


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

.: :.

I think that to get the loans from creditors you should present a great reason. However, one time I\'ve received a student loan, because I wanted to buy a house.

| Posted on 2012-05-25 | by a guest

.: :.

Thank you to the guest who provided the analysis below. At a glance and being a complete layman I thought she was talking about a broken God. Understanding now that its the broken memory of her father ... and knowing of her real life struggles... WOW, thank you.

| Posted on 2012-05-04 | by a guest

.: :.

According to my monitoring, billions of persons on our planet receive the loans at good creditors. Hence, there is a good chance to receive a car loan in any country.

| Posted on 2012-04-03 | by a guest

.: :.

Sylvia Plath was a nice lady
but she stuck her head in the oven

| Posted on 2012-02-13 | by a guest

.: :.

1-2 Deals with her struggle to reconstruct the memory of her deceased father.
3-5 Illustrates the confusion resulting from what little she is able to discern about her father. Plath employs irony self-depreciatingly by mocking her devotion to something so incomprehensible.
6-7 Tone wavers between lightly accusing and wearied impatience.
8-10 Echoes lines one and two in explaining her struggle to understand her father.
11-15 Details Plath’s efforts to revive the memory of her father, though the syntax equates his eyes to gravestones, thus thwarting this endeavor. Ironic when considered with lines three to seven.
16-19 The father is likened to the Roman Forum and the setting is likened to Oresteia. Both of these illustrations distance the father from Plath. These references to the classical world give the characters a larger-than-life quality.
20-23 The “lightning-stroke” here is connected (through Greek mythology) to divinity. Thus, the line draws attention to the ruined state of Plath’s soul caused by her father’s death.
24-26 Her residence in the ear of the colossus draws attention to her desire to communicate with her father through either her lost (or nonexistent) memory of him or a more literal sense of yearning.
27-30 The rising sun contrasts with the following line. Her marriage to shadow evinces her understanding of the fact that she will never understand her father, nor recapture his memory. This argument is completed by the final two lines of the poem that detail her sense of defeat through giving up.
Alternate (probably correct) Viewpoint: Man, personified by a ship, has no place in her marriage to shadow (the shadow of the colossus). She gives up on normality by not listening for the ship and resigns herself to the marriage to the shadow of her father and, consequently, to her own death.

| Posted on 2009-11-18 | by a guest

.: Fathers :.

Plath explains her lack of communication with her father in this poem. However, he still is a powerful figure, hence the symbol "The Colosuss"!

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

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