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Poppies In July Analysis

Author: Poetry of Sylvia Plath Type: Poetry Views: 1511

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Collected Poems20 July 1962Little poppies, little hell flames,

Do you do no harm?You flicker.I cannot touch you.

I put my hands among the flames.Nothing burnsAnd it exhausts me to watch you

Flickering like that, wrinkly and clear red, like the skin of a mouth.A mouth just bloodied.

Little bloody skirts!There are fumes I cannot touch.

Where are your opiates, your nauseous capsules?If I could bleed, or sleep! -

If my mouth could marry a hurt like that!Or your liquors seep to me, in this glass capsule,

Dulling and stilling.But colorless.Colorless.


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

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Due to Plath's personal experiences at then, she was going through treacherous, pathological, even sickly emotions due to her extreme hurting, thus causing her to feel hollowed out from within, and how she is numb and devoid of all her emotions, and even sound a bit hallucinating.

| Posted on 2014-04-12 | by a guest

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Symbolic interpretation:
Poppies, red, October, clouds, ambulance, palely, frost, forest, forest of frost, carbon monoxide, utterly, unmasked, igniting, dulled, halt, late, cry - the symbols for escape, alarm, end, confusion, patient, fear, fixation, intractableness, hopelessness, poisonous gas, decided, fixation, deliberate attempt, hopelessness, lifeless, uncompromising with time, beseeching, respectively.
Red, sun, skirt, heart, blooms, coat, astoundingly, gift, love, sky, flamily, eyes, bowlers, O, my, my God, what, what am I, I, late mouths, cry, dawn, cornflowers, forest of frost, symbolic of joy, energy, flesh, amorous, full-figured, security, yearning, birthday, hope, Providence, optimism, intentionally, underprivileged, ecstasy, possessive, sure, estrangement, narcissisms, confessional-ism, desirous men younger than Plath, astonished, hope and change, phallus, white beauty respectively.
Raised by German-blood - a sense, inculcated, though in-vain, to preserve German social and cultural values in toto; Sylvia - very sensitive at heart, probably, grew-up till her younger brother was born, under a very loving but strict father and mother; harboring much of the conservative values in her unconscious, could not face the world after the loss of her father and as a child to single parent later, got exposed to unwanted social liberalism; had to wink for good, at her most cherished figure, Ted after

| Posted on 2014-03-25 | by a guest

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the biograph of sylvia plath shows that she suffered in her life and that she tried to commit sucide twice the first she failed but almost succeeded .she ate sleeping pills the next time she killed herself by a cooking gas ..
sylvia was a prefectionist a model student and a daughter she published her first peom when she was 8 her died deid that year too but she still was a successful girl who graduated froma good collage she got married but her marriage failed and she went a libed in london with her two childs in a flat in 1963 and 1963 in that time she wrote lotss of poems mainly about death ..
the analysis of this peom she is using the poppies as a methpor of life she says it exhausts me to watch you she is so depressed and she is not in a good mind state and that shows in her biograph she even says little bloody skirts she may be talking about her failed marriage and that her husband has a fair with anothar women she says that hse wants to feel something hse feels so trapped she puts her hand among the flames nothing burns this shows her strong desire in wanting to feel something naything either than pain she is asking about opiates and these are kind of drugs that releives pain and she is asking about any nauseous capsules..
she sai that if she could blled or sleep anythng that would let time go and stop feeling so trapped if there was no opiates she wants to sleep and then she says colousless colorless it just gives us a disturbing a image a sad one ...
i think shewas ina a very depreivve state of mind .. i tried to connect her biograph with this poem and just made a connection ..

| Posted on 2013-11-15 | by a guest

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in my opinion this poem is talking about the depression the poet is suffering and the pain she is going through she hopes to stop that pain in a way but she cant because as she says in her lines (glass capsules) which shows that she is in a state that she is a prisoner of some kind of glass capsule.

| Posted on 2013-01-19 | by a guest

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My teacher told me that this poem is about her feelings towards her baby. She gave birth to her baby on July.

| Posted on 2012-12-09 | by a guest

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It may be wrong, but I feel that she is using the poppies as a metaphor for life and the world she feels no connection to. "It exhausts me to watch you\"/ I see that as she is exhausted looking at the world and trying to feel a connection to it "I put y hand among the flames. Nothing burns.\"/ And perhaps the line "Little bloody skirts!\"/ is a reference to the miscarriage she suffered.

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

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i think this poem is reflecting plath\'s need to feel something other then nothingness. \"I put my hands among the flames.Nothing burns\" - a refrence to her desire to self-harm, to give her some release but she cant. \"it exhausts me to watch you\" that desire is making her weary she wants to feel so badly. \"Where are your opiates, your nauseous capsules?\" opiates are found within poppies which when dried makes opium. she wants this drug..to give her a vital warmth she cannot feel, an upheaval from her lowest depths.
in short this poem refers to her mental unstability and the means in which she would attempt to regain sanity...through sel-harm or a drug called opium.

| Posted on 2012-04-16 | by a guest

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In this poem it is evident Plath is struggling with life.it could be interpreted that Plath talks of self harm \"I put my hands among the flames\" I feel the poet is trying to express a sense of hopelessness, that nothing matters. Another line which is striking is \"if i could sleep or bleed\" from this I think Plath desperately wants to escape the present, pain and oblivion. Lastly her fear of the reoccurring theme of Blandness is evident as also in \"The Times are Tidy\". She talks of \"Colourness\" which could mean lack of excitement and obviously colour. Overall this peom is in my opinion deeply disturbing, intense and shows signs of someone who was experiencing inner turmoil.

| Posted on 2011-12-18 | by a guest

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I think the poem is about her allergy towards poopies because she says \"I cannot touch you\" and she compares the poppies to flames. I think the whole poem though is an extended metaphor, symbolising maybe blood (hers or someone elses)

| Posted on 2011-06-07 | by a guest

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I think it is important to observe the contrast between the pretty imagery of the poppies and the vibrant pain, Plath is tryign to communicate.

| Posted on 2010-10-31 | by a guest

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on studying this peom i thought the poet was looking for some sort of help as she is feeling numb and not being able to feel anything causes her great mantal anguish. she searches for a feeling, she longs for extreme physical sensation. The speaker can only see two ways out of this numbing depression and it is either self harm or some sort of ease from the opiam from the Poppies. the landscape resembles Plath\'s mental state, she is in a hellish place and also resembles the Poppies to \'little hell flames\'.

| Posted on 2010-09-29 | by a guest

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Could it not be argued that the first line of 'Poppies in July' has a disturbing reference to 'Daddy'?
'Do you do no harm?' Evokes the feeling of entrapment and brutality in the undercurrent themes of 'Daddy'. It is as if the resolve she reached at the end of 'Daddy' is becoming a re-opened case; the catalyst being her husband having an affair.
Also- There is a sense of masochism involved with 'Poppies in July'; Plath is wanting to put her 'hands among the flames.' she sais 'If i could bleed or sleep.' this comparison indicates that harming herself is as theraputic as sleep and both these quotations portray her desire to be harmed connecting to her obvious attraction to brutal men...i like this poem...
emm-this is also the first time i've joined a discussion like this so i hope i'm not looking like a fool with perhaps quite naive observations..

| Posted on 2009-05-08 | by a guest

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When looking at the poem it is important to notice how Plath robs the narrator, presumably herself, of the senses. This creates the feeling of containment and hopelessness. Also at this point in her life Plath was in the middle of her husbands affair and with her obsession of being the perfect stereotypical house wife this poem reflects how she felt contained in societies images. Again, this feel is mostly achieved through her lack of senses, she cannot touch the flames or feel the burn, she cannot smell the smoke or taste the liquors.

| Posted on 2009-01-28 | by a guest

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poppies in july is a womans cry for help. The poet has gone beyond mere sadness and is now seeking escapism. She trys to use the Poppies vibrancy to distract her from her pain but when this fails she craves the feeling of oblivion or unconsiesness. The poets desperation and hopelessness draw to readers sympathy. The writers powerful use of comparisons "little poppies, little hell flames," makes it easy for the reader to conjure up vivid images of what the poet is trying to convey.

| Posted on 2005-09-10 | by Approved Guest

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