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Sylvia Plath

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Added by: GK
This is really dumb and confusing. We are in our extension english class and trying to work out what it means. None of the previous comments are really helping and are often contradictive so thanks for nothing.
"Racist" Plath?
Added by: Karl "Safety Guy" Spaulding
Joe, I can't say for sure about why Plath used the "N word" as part of a phrase (describing a plant, I believe), but I know quotes weren't her style so she would not have used them. I doubt Plath was racist in any degree and she definitely used harsh imagery when she wished. A somewhat similar situation exists in "Lady Lazarus"when she writes, "My face a featureless, fine
Jew linen." Her use of "Jew" here could potentially be construed as at least "insensitive," but again, I think she is simply adopting and/or expressing a persona and she was not afraid to use words or ideas that shocked. How much her "voice" in any poem truly represents her actual views on any particular subject is wide open to conjecture. Now add her location across the pond along with the fact the civil rights movement was probably just picking up steam over here in the U.S. and I don't see how we denizens of the 21st century can really say what was going through her head when she wrote this stuff. Remember, she (or her poetic voices) ate men "like air" and urged villagers to stomp her "Daddy" to death, etc. Don't take it too literally! :) Oh yeah, and I haven't studied Plath for a while, so dont' take my comments as anything but speculative chatter.
Added by: Benabz
The last section - and I am the arrow, the dew..... is my favourite piece of writing ever by anyone. I repeat this to myself on any occasion and when I share this poem with my high school classes it always stuns them into silence!
Added by: Deb
Berries cast dark
Hooks ----

Black sweet blood mouthfuls,"

I'm not sure but when I read this I thought she may be talking about deadly nightshade (aka Belladona) - the plant has black berries which were used historically by women to dilate the pupils (hence "Nigger eye"). Eating deadly nightshade berries is also fatal.

I know it may seem like a long shot but she's mentioned other fatally poisonous plants such as the yew tree ("The Moon and the Yew Tree") which not only is frequently found to be a symbol of death and rebirth but its berries are also fatally poisonous if eaten. Could she have had some knowledge on natural poisons? It seems logical to me that someone with a tendency toward suicide would look at several ways in which to die, poisons not being an exception. Just my two cents

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