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Some poems tell us more about the poet (him or herself), then the actual subject in the poem. Choose one poem which you feel does this, and explain in detail how the poet achieves his, or her affect, and how the reader responds

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Q. Some poems tell us more about the poet (him or herself), then the actual subject in the poem. Choose one poem which you feel does this, and explain in detail how the poet achieves his, or her affect, and how the reader responds. 'The Arrival of the Bee Box' was written by Sylvia Plath after the end of the Second World War. The poem is about the arrival of a bee box, and the emotions that Plath has towards it, and the sounds emanating from it. The poem has a definite beginning, middle, and end, but has no logical sense of progression. Plath's stream of consciousness may be responsible for this. The poem is written in the first person, and is about someone who orders a wooden box that contains bees. Plath uses very unconventional language to describe the way the box looks to her. She may have used this unconventional language to describe the bee box, as the poem may not actually be a literal description of a bee box, but could be a metaphor for something else. An example of the unconventional language that she uses to describe the box is shown from the following quotation: 'Square as a chair and almost too heavy to lift. ...read more.


However, this noise that she talks of could also just be a metaphor for the noise of the countless thoughts in her mind. In this stanza, she talks of how she can't understand what she is thinking, as she is being bombarded with all of these thoughts. She talks of how all the bees in the box are individuals, but they all have some common aims, and act in a unit when necessary. The evidence for her conflicting thoughts are shown in the following quotation: 'How can I let them out? It is the noise that appals me most of all, The unintelligible syllables. It is like a Roman mob, Small, taken one by one, but my God, together!' The first line of the above quotation shows a sense of desperation from the poet, about how she can free herself from the thoughts that are overrunning her head, and from the distressing noise of these thoughts. From the last two lines of the above quotation, one can interpret that Plath may have described her thoughts as individually being harmless, and how she could deal with them one at a time, but could also describe how she cannot deal with the masses of thoughts that continuously linger in her head. ...read more.


The line says 'The box is only temporary', which could refer to the human body just being something that holds your thoughts in for a period of time. she has finally made the decision that she is going to end her life to relieve herself from the noise of her thoughts. However, I think that Plath isn't actually totally sure that committing suicide is the right action to take, as the penultimate and ultimate lines of the poem, which overrun a stanza do not rhyme completely, which could show some of Plath's lingering doubts. I think that this poem definitely tells the reader more about the poet herself, then the actual subject matter of the poem. It is obvious that the poem is not actually about a bee box, as Plath's stream of consciousness, and her fluctuation between thoughts and emotions shows that she is expressing her uncensored personal thoughts directly onto the page. Plath had a history of mental illness, and suffered much abuse during her lifetime, initially from her father, and then later from her husband. This poem is about the doubts that she had before she tried to commit suicide, but expressed using terminology that could also be interpreted as a literal description of a bee box. From this poem, the reader can see that Plath's mind was full of conflicting emotions, and that she was actually fighting an inner struggle against her suicidal feelings. Pratik Vats 11T ...read more.

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