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Sylvia Plath

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Added by: Kevin
I found this poem refreshing in lieu of her other more depressing poetry. Especially when viewed in its collection "Ariel". I think this one shows the beauty that can be found in even the simplest of things.
Added by: Andrew Mayers
Not all parents would refer to their child as a ‘fat jug’. Does the poem record moments of beauty? Perhaps, but “the funny pink world” becomes “a world clear as water” and finally “A red/Shred in his little fist.” and nothing more. The child has learned something – that as he grows older imaginary worlds are closed down for him. As another poet, Hal Summers, says in ‘The Beginners’:
“The world will end before it is gone.”
Added by: foo|ish
I thought that as Sylvia Plath was a bipolar, and had "high" and "low" periods in her life, perhaps the balloons represented the "high" and her happiness and when they popped, life became bleak again.
Added by: Peter Carter
I think it's probably a good idea to get away from readings of Plath that stem entirely from her quite exceptional biography. Though, in this poem, the child is holding a 'red shred', there is no description that would lead one to believe that the child is unhappy. Though undoubtedly he/she will cry later, the poem's narrative does not continue that far. Thus I would conclude that the focus of the poem is not, in fact, about worlds destoyed, but rather about the wonder and beauty of unexpected change. And as such, it stands alongside 'You're' as one of the most positive poems in Ariel. The child is surprised, and yet calm; contemplative. She/he is learning.

It's also interesting to compare this poem to 'Full Moon and Little Frieda' by Ted Hughes, as the parallels are numerous.
mmmmm . . .
Added by: Cat
To me it seems that this poem is reasonbly simple. Although the other commenters make good points, to me this seems rather basic description when compared to her others. It reminds me of a rather rebellious school child turning a simple excercise in metaphor and similie into an actual POEM, but not one that measures her talent generously at all.

I love Sylvia Plath's writings, but am always critical about this one.
Added by: Andrew
I don't know what Sylvia Plath had in mind, but I can realte to a fascination with balloons. From an early age, I've loved having them around and the fun of stepping on them and bursting them! Does anyone else relate to this?
Added by: akisha
First of all, the title relates to the end of 'Morning Song' where Plath says 'the clear vowels rise like balloons'- she's talking about her baby that's just been born. In this one, I think she's talking to her daughter after her son is born. he seems to be playing with a balloon whilst the speaker talks to her other child. when it comes to the final stanzas, she's talking about how her son is looking through a balloon which makes everything look pink- an altered world. Then when it pops, the balloon's remains are red, and he's seeing the world as it really is. Plath, in this poem, portrays how we, as humans, distort our worlds sometimes, and how it's so disappointing when we eventually find out the reality of our lives, and the real world as it is.. and all we're left with is a small piece of the entity which made us see the world differently in the first place. deep poem.. i LOOOOVE Plath.. really knows her stuff, just wish she didn't commit suicide man.. what a bummer..

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