In this essay I shall be comparing and contrasting two poems by the author Sylvia Plath. The two poems are ‘Blackberrying’ and ‘Mirror’ Sylvia Plath born in Boston, Massachusetts 1932 was the wife of another famous yet complicated poet Ted Hughes. Many of Plath’s poems were based on her inner pain yet also other celebratory poems about motherhood aspects of nature etcetera. In addition to writing poems she wrote one autobiographic novel ‘The Bell Jar’. Sylvia Plath had a very short and tragic life, after suffering from years of depression and mental illness from living under pressure she took her life in 1963.Order now
She is now laid to rest in a little church yard grave in Heptonstall, West Yorkshire. The first poem I am going to be describing is to be Mirror. I see Mirror as a lonely and heart filled poem. I believe that it shows Plath’s unwillingness for growing old. I believe that she looks into the mirror and sees her youth dipping away uncontrollably. She sees the mirror as honest and not one to tell lies by using personification expanding that the mirror swallows the images and is ominisent in knowing everything for example like a god.
The poem seems schizophrenic, she is searching for who she really is, but cannot see her value in herself. She shows this in the poem by saying; “Searching for my reaches for what she really is” I believe that Plath sees everything out of control from her, feeling that everything is away from her. She mentions in the poem; “Now I am a lake a woman bends over me” I believe that Plath can not see this person as really her. She may have been talking about her life expectancies. Although marriage was not on Plaths’ agenda she married Ted Hughes and had 2 children with him, she also had good qualifications behind her and a steady life.
Although later on in her life her relationship with Hughes became rocky and she moved into a small flat in London. Maybe Plath is saying this is not what she expected or wanted her future life to be. In the poem she concentrates on the loneliness and emptiness in her life. “it is pink with speckles. I have looked at it for so long it has become a part of my heart but it flickers” I believe that Plath is describing her face and the flickering being a candle for light, as she later says; “Then she turns to those liars the candles or the moon”
I believe that the fact that the candle flickers means that she is not lonely all the time but only human lonely as she has the candle at night there to be her company. It may have been that she feels isolated from the outside world. I also believe that the poem deteriates towards the end, just as a person would do in death. My second poem to describe is blackberrying. In the poem Blackberrying I believe that Plath is writing about a journey to the beach and walking down lanes filled with bushes of blackberries. Maybe Plath is writing about the path of life.
I believe that this is a lonely yet thoughtful and happy poem. She uses a great sense of touch sound vision taste and smell, as she stretches every small detail about the blackberries. For example she uses the sense of touch by saying; “fat with red juices as they squander in my fingers” Plath is expressing the way the blackberries look when they are compressed by fingers, this gives the readers a great impression for them to imagine on their own how the blackberries would look. “Theirs is the only voice protesting, protesting”
This tells the readers that the author is alone in the poem and that the only sound in the poem is when Plath believes that the bits of burnt paper are wheeling around her and that maybe the wind will be making a gentle whistling sound. When Plath mentions; “The only thing to come now is the sea. From between two hills a sudden wind funnels at me, slapping its phantom laundry in my face” Plath is describing the feel of the wind on her face. I believe that phantom represents a ghostly figure and that it is not there although it feels like it is there.
If she imagines that the laundry is wet then that may result in the fresh sea air slapping onto her face. Plath exaggerates her journey at every point. I believe that maybe she is talking about the path of life. The poem is a happy poem; maybe she feels that she is alone in this journey where everything seems to be neither good nor bad. Although once she gets to the end of that path it will seem to be a lot brighter with a different change of scenery maybe contrasting on a different lifestyle. In both poems Plath uses a great sense of extended metaphors and sets the imagery superb in both poems.
So that it is as if the reader is the person themselves in each of the poems. Both poems I believe are complicated and hard to imagine yourself into but once the reader understands the poem them it is easier to accept the surrounding in the rest of the poem. Both poems seem as though they come from deep down from Plaths inner pain from the author something that has a hidden meaning, which she just can not contrast in words. So she decides to write it down. By doing this she makes both poems seem like a riddle to understand their true meanings.