Discussion Thread For Three Poems by Sylvia Plath Emily Dickinson and Robert Burns

D. Snodgrass, as well as her contemporary Anne Sexton, who, in an unusual coincidence, was also a case of Bipolar Disorder. On that hypothesis, I perceive a sense of depression in her works, which she then disguises by swinging to the positive, a finite bipolar trend (Bidart, lt.http://www. wikipedia.en.orggt.).She wrote Metaphors in 1959, three years after her marriage in 1956. Whittington-Egan is emphatic when he says that wedlock was not a happy experience for her, exacerbated by her husband’s extramarital affair (Feb.2005). At the time of writing this poem, she was pregnant with her first child, a girl, and would have gone through the numerous physical and mental rigors mothers-to-be have to unfortunately undergo. I believe her sense of desertion comes across stronger than her joy of motherhood, expressed in this poem as ‘Im a means, a stage’, the resignation quite clear.What is fascinating about this poem is that it is one extended metaphor. It relates in its totality to her pregnancy and the period that gestation takes. There are many unusual aspects of the poem. It starts with the title, a nine-letter word. In my opinion, the first line, ‘I’m a riddle in nine syllables’, sets the context of the poem, the keyword being ‘riddle’, with its connotation of the co-existence of the ambiguous within one ambit, as also the antithetic or the ambivalent. Every individual who has reviewed the poem states that it is an obvious reference to her difficult nine months of child carrying, setting the scene for a conundrum of sorts. Apart from its proclivity to the allegory, it is nine sentences long and every single sentence has nine syllables. As Steinberg says in his recent book on her, ” Each sentence has its own metaphor(s), some simple like ‘a cow in calf,’ some mixed like ‘O red fruit, ivory, fine timbers!” (Jan.2008). Moreover, the confessional trend is also clearly evident.