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Compare and contrast ‘Morning Song’ by Sylvia Plath and ‘Infant Sorrow’ by William Blake.

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Introduction

Compare and contrast 'Morning Song' by Sylvia Plath and 'Infant Sorrow' by William Blake. In this assignment I intend to contrast, compare and analyse these two poems, which convey the writers perspectives towards childbirth and its affects on the parents as well as the babies. 'Morning Song' was written by Sylvia Plath who was born in 1932 in America. She excelled at school and put all her effort into everything she did. She attended Cambridge University and married Ted Hughes, another poet, in 1956 but their relationship clashed due to them both being extremely intelligent and colourful people. They had two children; Ted left Plath for another woman and so Plath became depressed and so tried to commit suicide three times and succeeded on the 3rd attempt using cooking gas in 1963 when she was 31 leaving two young children. The poem opens with a colourful and effective simile, 'Love set you going like a fat gold watch'. The word 'fat' illustrates the natural appearance of a newborn baby, usually plump, chubby, and round faced. I think the adjective 'gold' was used to convey the image that a baby is priceless, precious and how you always want it to be close to you like a mother and baby. ...read more.

Middle

Also comparing her, as a cow is effective because a cow solely produces milk, which is partly what she is doing for the baby. The reference to a Victorian nightgown indicates a clear change in her role because the Victorian attitudes to women were that they kept their body covered and a Victorian nightgown is perfect to illustrate the image due it covers all the body. Plath uses the garment to hide hr anxiety about her body image because she will not feel attractive after her pregnancy. The next stanza continues which a technique called enjambe to convey the moving of night to day to add fluency to the poem. Personification is used in 'the window square whitens and swallows its dull stars' which means because it is dawn the stars are dullish because of light and they are gradually fading away. 'And now you try your handful of notes; the clear vowels rise like balloons which illustrates the way vowels are rounded sounds and are prolonged and so Plath compared them to balloons which rise up until they fade out of site like the baby produces. After analysing 'Morning Song' I am left with a relaxed and reflective view on child birth and real events that happen around a new born baby and how life changes with it. ...read more.

Conclusion

Both of the poems are about babies in their first hours and days of their lives and how other people perceive them. They both explore to some degree the attitudes of the parents and times of when the babies were born. There is a strong difference in moods and tone between them because 'Morning Song' is very calm and un-physical where as 'Infant Sorrow' is very quick and has a striving tone. The poems are written from different perspectives one from the parents and one from the baby's point of view. They also both explore the vulnerability of the newborns particularly their frailty. Both of them contain a strong sense of impact to the parent's lives and futures, but 'Morning Song' is positive and reflective where as 'Infant Sorrow' is negative and mournful. The babies themselves are different because in 'Morning Song' the baby is a conventional and traditional where as in 'Infant Sorrow' the baby has some kind of prior knowledge of the world it is entering. 'Morning Song' has a relaxed pace to it and reflective imagery where as 'Infant Sorrow' is quick, sharp and aggressive. After analysing both poems and looking at the similarities and differences I have come to the conclusion that these are very emotive poems conveying two different perspectives of child birth and its positive or negative affects it has had upon the parents. ...read more.

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