"Morning Song" and "Sonnet 19"

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"Morning Song"

and "Sonnet 19"

The poem "Morning Song" was written by the poet Sylvia Plath. Based around the struggles of this young mother the poem shows not only the events that took place within her first few weeks of motherhood but the feelings and emotions she goes through. Through her life this poet suffered times of depression in which finally lead her to commit suicide in February 11th 1963 by the means of suffocation with cooking gas. Although this poem was written a few years before then she was still going through a stage of post-novel depression. Due to this, the poem has a sad and depressing atmosphere, which is shown best in paragraph three.

The first few paragraphs are based around the arrival of her baby while as the last few on an event that happened a few weeks later. We can say that the event in the last paragraphs happened a few weeks later because at first it is written in the past tense and then in the present. Also in the second line Sylvia Plath describes the cries of her baby as 'bald' meaning an unpractised one-note cry. However in the second to last lines she describes it as a 'handful of notes' meaning the baby has developed and practised so time must have past.

The title morning song gives us our first clue into what this poem is based on. The word 'Morning' could describe the beginning of the baby's life and her new life as a mother. 'Song' could illustrate the cries in the morning a baby makes or of the lullabies you sing a baby to sleep with.

The beginning of the poem is basically describing the arrival of the child. 'The Midwife slapped your footsoles' in line two is describing the procedure doctors or midwifes go through (in this case to start the baby's lung going'. This is clearly the hour the baby arrived 'among the elements' (in the world).

In paragraph two she is writing about the ward, where babies were kept for a few days before returning them to their mother to go home. Wards are usually cold with no double glazing and swinging doors. The one she was no different being described as 'draughty' like a museum. 'Our voices echo, magnifying your arrival' can illustrate celebrating the newborn baby, making the arrival great. It can also illustrate the repetition. The same things repeated over and over, as the mothers would have to stand around for a long time they would probably talk about the same thing over and over and eventually stop, run out of things to say. 'We stand round blankly as walls' backs this statement. After a while they would get bored, repeat thing over and then stop. 'Your nakedness shadows are safety' represents the way the mother feel looking at their baby, venerable.  

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The Simile:

'Love set you going like a Fat Gold Watch',

Is at the start of the poem and has many hidden meanings. As well as it being the start of the poem it is also the start of the baby's life. The mother 'set' her baby going like you could a watch as it describes. As this poem was set in the 60s this line may have been looked at in a different light. Gold watches were expensive and valuable in those days and given at a time of retirement. The owners would have been very protective of them ...

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