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What differences do you notice between Clarke’s and Plath’s thoughts and feelings about their “boxes”? How do the words of the poems communicate the poet’s feelings to you?

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Introduction

What differences do you notice between Clarke's and Plath's thoughts and feelings about their "boxes"? How do the words of the poems communicate the poet's feelings to you? Sylvia Plath (1932-1963) and Gillian Clarke both wrote poems describing different boxes. American Sylvia Plath was married to Ted Hughes, the Poet Laureate. The marriage dissolved in 1962 and Sylvia moved to Devon where she began keeping bees till she committed suicide in 1963. Her poem is called The Arrival of the Bee Box and is written in 1962. Gillian Clarke a Welsh writer wrote The Box. The Arrival of the Bee box describes Plath's thoughts and feelings after the arrival of her box of bees. Through the course of the poem Plath's words communicate first her fear and apprehension but also her fascination and curiosity. ...read more.

Middle

Plath and Clarke view there boxes both in completely different ways. Clarke uses her box to convey all of her memories to another person and all the feelings she describes are positive and depict the relationship between her and her husband using objects such as the golden tree to portray their love. The poem is an explanation manual to the box. Plath doesn't use the box to convey anything in such an obvious way, but taking into account background information about her life and mind, the poem reveals a deeper meaning than just an account of her first impressions of a her box of bees. There is a darker undertone of her insecurity and unstable emotions and also in contrast to the other poem you feel her loneliness, as the other poem is definitely directed at another close friend or relative, whereas Plath seems to be talking to herself. ...read more.

Conclusion

She also doesn't use much of a rhyme scheme though its debatable whether some of the verses use half rhyme like in the third stanza 'On an open shelf I keep my box. Its key is in the lock.' which has the repetition of the 'c' sound. Plath seems to feel threatened by what the box could contain. At first she feels confident and comfortable with the box, as it is square and clean, so she knows its general shape and limits. She knows where she is with it. As the poem progresses, she begins to feel more threatened by the box itself. On the other hand Clarke feels totally at ease with her box throughout the whole poem. In contrast, Plath's box seems light coloured and friendly on the outside, until we progress further in, where we realise the inside is dark and sinister. This is brought out by the use of colour in the poem. ...read more.

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