• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

In Sylvia Plaths poem Morning Song, the poet expresses a range of fluctuating emotions during her journey through motherhood

Extracts from this document...


Morning Song In Sylvia Plath?s poem ?Morning Song,? the poet expresses a range of fluctuating emotions during her journey through motherhood. The poet does this by applying an imagery technique to each word to draw a picture of her daily activities in order to express her detachment from the child. However, as the poem proceeds and develops, the readers learn that from each stanza to stanza it portrays the poet?s distanced and alienated relationship with her baby growing into a more loving and attached relationship. It is evident from the first stanza that the poet is quite distanced from her baby as she deals with her pregnancy and birth in unsentimental terms. The first sentence signifies conception and is written monosyllabically for impact, starting with: "Love set you going like a fat gold watch." Because the poem starts with the word ?love,? it allows us to interpret that this is a literal meaning, that it all started with love ? the essential reason for the baby coming into the world. However, the use of the word ?watch? instantly changes our thought as the imagery of a watch is cold and lifeless. It also makes us think of the passing of time, as it ticks on and on - the time the poet feels is being taken away from her in order to endure her responsibility. Like a child, the watch is given life: this is its beginning; then comes time and aging. Another interpretation of this watch could be the heart beat of the baby, the constant reminder of the baby?s presence. ...read more.


In the next line, a very interesting verb is used to describe the breathing ?flickers among the flat pink roses.? This is an interesting image as it describes that something is flashing on and off which could allude to the poet?s emotions and how she is constantly changing, both physically and emotionally as her life is taken over by her child. By the final line of this stanza, as the poet wakes up to hear ?A far sea moves in my ear,? we see this is an imagery to portray the sounds coming from the baby. This sound of a living healthy baby suggests that the mother is pleased with what she has created and does feel love for her, slowly showing the growing attachment between the mother and the baby. Even though the fifth stanza mainly focuses on the poet?s emotion, she still discusses the growing attachment with her baby. The first line foreshadows the characteristic of the mother?s state as she hears ?One cry and I stumble from bed, cow-heavy and floral/ In my Victorian nightgown.? We can see her stumbling out of bed in a clumsy just like the heavy cow. From here, it is very clear the poet?s mixed emotions are very important in portraying her journey through motherhood. This is because her ambivalent emotions show she can be sometimes joyous and celebratory about the birth of the child but we also see that from one cry from the child, she can become weak and anxious about looking after her baby. ...read more.


Let us pay special attention to the images Plath paints, and examine our own emotional and psychological response as readers. We can then stand back and take in the poem in its entirety, seeing the ways in which the poet has connected her ideas, as well as commenting on some of the technical aspects of the disjointed poem. In short, our study will look at the ways in which Sylvia Plath uses her poem's imagery and structure to express her unconventional feelings on the topic of motherhood. In a brief reading of this poem, we may not know what to make of the references to a watch, a cloud, a cat, but certain other words stand out. We recognize the words midwife, cry, nakedness, and mother. These words trace a pattern through the work, and we find the motif of motherhood prevalent. While it is always unwise to leap to conclusions about a poet's intentions, we can be assured that Plath is not here speaking in merely figurative terms. "The midwife slapped your footsoles..." says line 2; later we see mention of "your arrival," i.e. birth. In line 7 the author denies being "your mother" and in the fifth stanza describes waking from bed to attend a crying baby: One cry, and I stumble from bed, cow-heavy and floral In my Victorian nightgown. Your mouth opens clean as a cat's... We see then that Plath is not merely invoking the imagery of motherhood, but is speaking of it in its plainest sense. From this brief run-through we decide that we can safely proceed with this poem while keeping in mind that its language is that of maternity. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sylvia Plath section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Sylvia Plath essays

  1. Critical Commentary on The Arrival of the Bee Box written by Sylvia Plath.

    She once again resumes control over the box, or herself, and states that she is the "owner". To show this power she says that "they can die, I need feed them nothing". The syntax of this line is contorted to throw emphasis on the likelihood that she will care for them however.

  2. What happens in the story? Superman and Paula Brown's New Snowsuit is a short ...

    David is presented as the narrator's friend. He is not mentioned in the account of the accident to the snowsuit, and he seems not to have been there. (The narrator mentions "a couple of kids" - and we know of three at least: Paula, Jimmy and Sheldon.

  1. Examining Tone, Choice of words and Imagery in the Poem "Tulips" by Sylvia Plath.

    In a room of uncolored walls, the red tulips contaminate the purity of the room by having its red color. The speaker also believes that the tulips are too excitable and a nuisance to her space and new found peace.

  2. Commentary on Sylvia Plath's "Ariel".

    The rider also experiences a release of control as she is "haul[ed] through air - thighs, hair; Flakes from [her] knees". The use of synecdoche dehumanizes the rider, further emphasizing her unity with her surroundings. Furthermore, towards the end of the poem, the rider "foam[s] to wheat, a glitter of seas".

  1. In Sylvia Plath's poem, Metaphors, she uses striking imagery to explore her ambivalent attitudes ...

    Furthermore, her stomach is also a secure place for the baby to stay until it is ready to be born. The third line has also got good imagery because the narrator illustrates herself as being "a melon strolling on two tendrils".

  2. How is Sylvia Plath's life reflected in the poems

    On the first line we can see that Frieda was really the fruit of love between Sylvia and Ted-it says, "Love set you going like a fat gold watch." A gold watch is a beautiful and dear gift. The word "fat" here implies beautiful, too, because fat babies are beautiful.

  1. A Trapped Life: The Autobiographical Elements of Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar.

    When Esther is in the mental hospital, she wants to escape, and sees others wanting to escape, but cannot because of the barred windows. This is the only instance when she is literally trapped; the other instances in which this theme is visible are imaginary, demonstrating that Esther's sense of confinement is largely mental.

  2. The Amazing Individuality of the Life and Works of Sylvia Plath.

    Plath had once stated that each time she wrote a poem she had a "magnificent experience." Sometimes she would go onto writing rampages and write about two to three poems a day, and other times her poems would take weeks.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work