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Metaphors Analysis



Author: Poetry of Sylvia Plath Type: Poetry Views: 7056

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The Collected Poems1959I'm a riddle in nine syllables,

An elephant, a ponderous house,

A melon strolling on two tendrils.

O red fruit, ivory, fine timbers!

This loaf's big with its yeasty rising.

Money's new-minted in this fat purse.

I'm a means, a stage, a cow in calf.

I've eaten a bag of green apples,

Boarded the train there's no getting off.





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

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no, this is about a woman who is pregnant. that is why it says \"I am a riddle in nine lines\", because when you are pregnant, you are pregnant for nine months. also, when she said \"there is money new minted in this fat purse\" she is comparing herself to a fat purse, and her child is the new money.

| Posted on 2012-12-10 | by a guest


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Why are so many people posting dumb things?? Are you guys just not mentally matured enough? You should rethink things. Aff off haters

| Posted on 2012-01-16 | by a guest


.: :.

This poem is about a fat lady complaining about life not idiodic crap the rest of u think. read between the lines :)

| Posted on 2011-11-18 | by a guest


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This poem be about a women and her baby daddy. In her dream the black monkey king rings is \"green apples\" around her red yeast infection of desire!

| Posted on 2011-04-18 | by a guest


.: :.

Dude, the pregnant woman just wanted a lot of apples, she was hungry

| Posted on 2011-03-17 | by a guest


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We had to paraphrase this poem for english class and i was sort of hard to understand at first. But now that I know what it means, I find it so theoreticaly simple to figure out. However I must say that the rest of your assignment for tis homework was quite dumb. We had to link it back to our life or someone we know. I\'m in 8th grade, so I absloutly DO NOT plan on getting pregnant anytime soon. How dull is that? Great poem though.

| Posted on 2011-02-07 | by a guest


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this poem is about having sex with a watermelon and how you crave other fruits after having intercourse with the seeds of life. it represents the struggles of getting on trains, especially when your an asian tourist and don\'t know your way qaround town.

| Posted on 2011-02-03 | by a guest


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WHY???? Why is it so easy to reject a good person?(yet we stay with someone who take us through hell??) Why is it so easy for us to leave home ( But so hard for us to come up out of a hole?( Why do we sleep in church? (but stay awake in a 3 hour movie?) Why is it so hard to talk about God?( But so easy to talk about premarital sex? Why are we so bored when we look at a christian book?(But find it easy to read twilight?) Why is it so easy to ignore a Godly forward?(yet we forward the deamining ones?)Why are churches getting smaller?) but bars and clubs are expanding?) Why is it so easy to worship a celebrity? But very difficult to worship god?) WHY????

| Posted on 2010-12-07 | by a guest


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I belive, through the phrase \'A melon strolling\' she is implying that you should smd

| Posted on 2010-11-24 | by a guest


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As a woman who is 9 months pregnant (with my second child), this poem really hits home. In pregnancy, although you are happy about the upcoming event, you have to completely surrender yourself to something beyond your control. You have to swallow any vain notions; your body, mind and life completely change. Birth is not only for the baby, but for the new mother or parents as well. When I read this poem, I don\'t get the depression that so many have indicated, although I do not know anything about the author\'s life in particular.
At the beginning of pregnancy... or even the begining of the last trimester (the last three months) the pregnant woman is excited, and she jokes about the way she looks and feels. However, as the due date approaches, it is easy to get impatient for the event to happen... the unknown to unfold. You are so uncomfortable at the end to pregnancy that you just want it to happen. You can even feel rather biter towards those around you, (I would like to site the episode of Friends where Rachel is Late.) Then, when the labor actually begins, and you know that there is no turning back, there is a feeling of finality, or destiny... purpose that accompanies the event. Labor is a difficult process, and once it begins, there is no turning back the clock... you are going to have a baby. This is a scary reality, because it hits you how much your life is going to change, that the event you have been preparing for the last 40 weeks is happening, and in a few short hours... that seem long and grueling, you will be a mother.

| Posted on 2010-10-24 | by a guest


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Sylvia Plath has used metaphorical language and a poem with nine sentences with nine syllables each to symbolise the entire time of pregnancy.
In the beginning of the poem the mood is somewhat playful and even excited. She calls herself an elephant (enormous size) and a ponderous house. Ponderous would refer to filled withe people and activity, or just large and spacious. She feels like a large house and there is a lot of activity going on inside her. She also calls herself a melon strolling on two tendrils. The thought of a melon strolling on two tendrils is somewhat comical, but the melon could refer to a red fruit, i.e. nutrition and nourishment.It could also signify something new and raw (the foetus). The two tendrils refer to her legs, which are weak and thin in comparison to her belly but are still supporting her (like tendrils support a plant but are still weak)
In the next para the mood changes to that of doubt and dispair. She cries out, \"O red fruit, ivory, fine timbers!\" ..She calls herself a loaf that seems to be rising because of yeast, another reference to her pregnant condition. She calls herself a fat purse, with new minted money inside. She calls the baby new minted money, because it is new to the world.
Now the mood of the poem is of extreme despair and a lot of negativity. She feels that she is just a means- a means for the baby to come into the world. She is a stage- where a performance is talking place and after it is over the stage will be left deserted, i.e. after the baby is born she will be forgotten. And also that she is in a stage or a phase. She calls herself a cow in calf, i.e. a pregnant person.
She says that she has eaten a bag of green apples. Some critics say that green apples contain a chemical that could cause an abortion of the child. They could also refer to the craving of a pregnant person or the bitter taste that perpetually lingers in a pregnant mother\'s mouth. She ends her poem dramatically, stating that there is no going back now, she has to go through with the procedure of having a baby.
-Tanya

| Posted on 2010-10-18 | by a guest


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these posts are not moderated so post whatever you want :D

| Posted on 2010-09-28 | by a guest


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whoever posted the last 2 reviews obviously don\'t know much about poetry, the poem talks about pooping in a shoe

| Posted on 2010-09-01 | by a guest


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this poem in a way shows that she was not only unhappy about being pregnant she was impregnated by a half man half monkey combo, therefore she was very unhappy and depressed. Referring to the line \"Boarded the train there\'s no getting off.\" she is simply saying she got on a train got fat and can\'t get off

| Posted on 2010-09-01 | by a guest


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i believe she isn\'t talking about being pregnant but merely talking about what it\'s like to be fat

| Posted on 2010-09-01 | by a guest


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I belive you guys are all idiots and should do somethings better wiht your lives.

| Posted on 2010-05-25 | by a guest


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I see a lot of people talking about the symbols of the green apples, but you should also look at the red fruit line. This could easily be interpreted as a pomegranate, the fruit which was eaten in the myth of Persephone and Hades. This has a connotation of loss of innocence, just as the green apples do. Just as there is a "loss of innocence" from childhood to sexual awareness, there is a second loss of innocence when the young woman is faced with the grim realities of her actions (pregnancy).
-Christian Vandagrift

| Posted on 2010-04-05 | by a guest


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To the person who last posted, you should loo up the difference between metaphor and simile, she uses metaphors throughout the poem.

| Posted on 2010-03-28 | by a guest


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you guys are silly. nobody noticed that these are NOT metaphors...but a series of similies...all with nine syllables mind you(hence the first line). despite the title saying metaphors, it is really similies, thus creating a contrast or a slight pun in the difference between reality and fantasy. perhaps all of the pregnacy analysis is correct, however...you've all sort of missed the point of the poem. TITLES ARE IMPORTANT.

| Posted on 2010-03-25 | by a guest


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I believe this poem has a very negative connotation. Sylvia Plath was a very unhappy woman. The death of her father caused major depression in her life, and she never could forgive him for "abandoning" her. Her husband, whom she had two children with, cheated on her and then left her for that woman. One day, while her kids were in the other room, she stuck her head in the oven and left it there until she was dead. Sylvia Plath did not want to be alive.
She was very depressed, and what I get from this poem and from her suicide is that she cared little about her children. She was very unhappy while she was pregnant.
She expresses in the poem that when people saw her, they only really saw the baby, and she didn't like that.

| Posted on 2010-03-23 | by a guest


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When she quotes 'Boarded the train theres no getting off' I believe she is not referring to her suicide, but that the mother is loosing her freedom and becomes a mother. She will have to care for and protect the child until it is an adult.

| Posted on 2010-03-11 | by a guest


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I thought there were many different interpretations of the green apples. I understand there is a biblical reference to the Forbidden Fruit of Adam and Eve, but let's not forget that when a woman is pregnant they have odd food cravings in which they can eat a lot. Also it could be looked up as symbolizing the baby within her, i.e. the fruit of the womb. In addition eating a whole bag of green apples could even relate to the fact women get morning sickness when pregnant.

| Posted on 2010-03-03 | by a guest


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In my english class my teacher said that the green apples were show how she tried to loose the baby. Since sometimes apples have e. coli, the baby would be the first to suffer the consequences resulting in the loss. This leaving the last sentence in there is no way going back, as in i might have just killed the baby, or there is no going back, i am having a baby i do not want.

| Posted on 2010-01-27 | by a guest


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"fine timbers" and loaf" are used sarcastically, implying a negative connotation.

| Posted on 2009-11-29 | by a guest


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I disagree with many of the interpretations of this poem. I think that although Sylvia Plath uses most of her metaphors to explain how much the speaker is growing, many of them are of positive connotation. For example, "fine timbers" and a "loaf" of bread are usually seen as positive things. The last line explains how she now cannot go back from being pregnant and must go through with it, but I do not think that it is meant as a complaint - I think it is simply there to explain that the speaker is accepting the fact.

| Posted on 2009-11-16 | by a guest


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I think she uses 9 in the begining because it takes 9 monthes of being pregnant to have a baby!

| Posted on 2009-10-26 | by a guest


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I like this poem because it relates to pregancy very accurately, the green apples is a metaphor because obviously not all green apples make you sick but they do resemble the forbidden fruit of adam and eve and also the bitter, sick apples.

| Posted on 2009-10-17 | by a guest


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I think that "green apples" is a clear metaphor
either it is the nausea that accompany pregnancy
or as some interpetations say that it has a biblical reference by eating the forbidden apples , Adam and eve were sent away from heaven .

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


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line seven means a money printing machine for the future. the fat purse would be the baby and he coming to the world for future where he or she can support their parents

| Posted on 2009-05-06 | by a guest


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The green apples are symbolic of bitterness and red as sweet. When you are pregnant, you overindulge in foods, which causes you to vomit-leaving you with a bitter taste. So the sickness from the green apples could have been possibly especially because they are acidic.

| Posted on 2009-04-22 | by a guest


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the speaker describes a negative event in which she is experiencing pregnancy. Her choice of words and phrases express her feelings about the pregnancy as well as the structure of the poem. In her poem, Plath chooses many metaphors to describe her pregnancy. I felt that these metaphors were describing something that she was not enjoying or looking forward to. The objects she chose to use to express her feelings gave me an uncomfortable feeling of the pregnancy. The line in which she refers to a “ponderous house” brings me to a vision of shelter. I feel that she is sheltering something, but has to think deeply about sheltering this object. The speaker doesn’t sound sure of what she is sheltering, and feels confused. It almost seems like a feeling of regret. The line, “Boarded the train there’s no getting off,” supports her feelings of regret. She sounds as if she has no other choice or option other than to be or remain pregnant. The line almost hints that she is stuck, so she has to continue with the decision. These feelings of regret seem to be alongside her mixed feelings. The line in which she refers to eating “a bag of green apples” gives me the impression that she feels sick. The color green, to me, represents sickness or ill feelings. Green apples also could refer to their ripeness. The unripe “green apples” could be describing her feelings of not being ready for the pregnancy. Her metaphor of “ a cow in a calf” could mean two things. The speaker is having her first child and doesn’t feel sure of this decision, or that she, herself, is a child trying to bring another child into this world. They both convey her feelings of not being ready to handle the situation. One line that supports her not experiencing pregnancy is where she writes, “ Money’s new minted in this fat purse.” Along with referring to herself as “fat”, she is saying that this is all new to her. The pregnancy is newly “minted” and that she doesn’t know what to expect. Another feeling that I received from reading this poem was that the speaker did not like the pregnancy because she was becoming larger. In the second line, she refers to an elephant. Being pregnant, a person gains a large amount of weight, and I can see her feeling as an “elephant.” “This loaf’s big with its yeasty rising,” refers to her getting larger as her pregnancy progresses. These metaphors all are in reference to her size. Her reference to these objects gave me the impression that along with her unsure feeling, she resents getting larger. The way that Plath chose to form her poem is also relevant to why the speaker is not enjoying the pregnancy. The beginning line, “ I’m a riddle in nine syllables,” begins the pattern of nine syllable lines. Each line having exactly nine syllables and containing nine lines is in reference to her length of being pregnant. This reference to the length gives me the impression that the time she has to be pregnant is an issue. Instead of cherishing this “miracle” time, she seems to be bickering about the time she is pregnant and is excited until nine months is over. Sylvia Plath and the elements she chose to describe a pregnancy gave me the feel of discomfort. Most of the metaphors she used conveyed mixed feelings, issues of weight gain, and impatience with the pregnancy. The speaker seemed to concentrate on the symptoms and things that happened to her during the pregnancy, rather than on the fact that she was bringing another life into the world. She didn’t convey that she was fortunate to be involved in a miracle. Instead she focused on her misfortunes and afflictions due to the pregnancy

| Posted on 2009-04-12 | by a guest


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My analysis fo rhtis poem is that the woman is pregnant, however, she is describing how is she feeling and the annoying of been pregnant, since she feel fat. Also, how the rol of a parent or mother, will be forever.

| Posted on 2009-04-10 | by a guest


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the word apple was used to describe any foreign fruit in the 17th century. perhaps the use of apples in this poem is to describe her unborn baby.
and green usually symbolizes nature, envy... and misfortune.
maybe all that the second to last line means is taht shes now pregnant with a baby that she knows nothing baout and does not want.

| Posted on 2009-02-06 | by a guest


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i disagree with the idea of green apples making you sick. There are apples that are green that you eat that do not necessarily make you ill.

| Posted on 2009-01-27 | by a guest


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In the genesis story, the fruit of wisdom and knowledge is not specified as an apple, or a green one for that matter. Moreover, green apples do not necessirily cause sickness. There must be something else to the green apple metaphore.

| Posted on 2009-01-21 | by a guest


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Some people have been saying that "boarded the train there's no getting off." refers to her committing suicide. I disagree, I think it refers to her being pregnant and there's no going back. It marks the end of he life as a free woman not her life in general.

| Posted on 2009-01-21 | by a guest


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The "nine" in the poem is symbolic of the nine months of pregnancy.

| Posted on 2009-01-16 | by a guest


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"I've eaten a bag of green apples", it can also mean the stomach so big and stuff like you've eaten a bag of green apples along with the other meaning for the Apples,

| Posted on 2008-10-28 | by a guest


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She is depressed about being pregnant, yes but I don't think she killed herself. I believe that when she says "boarded the train there's no getting off" she's reffering to parent hood. She will always be trapped in watching over her children and end her life as a free woman.

| Posted on 2008-10-14 | by a guest


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i think its funny how she shes nine imediatley in the first line. if you look at the structure you soon see the significance, 9 lines 9 sylabbles in each line. three 9's used in the poem to help convey how she is feeling

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




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