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Sylvia Plath

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Added by: B.W.
It's so amusing to listen to arguements over something like a poem. Let it rest. Let it mean to you what it should. To try to unwrap a poet is a poets last intent. Be content with the meaning; dont go searching for one.
Added by: Samantha
The truth is that, without Sylvia able to explain word for word what the symbolism and imagery in her poetry truly means, we are ALL making assumptions. And we are ALL projecting what we believe the poem is about into our own reading of it. Your personal take on the poem is just that - personal. Your reading will always be subjective. That is a reality. So, can we, rather than argue about what this poem is about, simply state what kind of impact it has on us and admit that our readings are ours alone? Can we, without becoming critical of how other people have read this work, collectively admire the beauty of Sylvia's work? Her ability to leave us breathless with her words is far from common and she deserves recognition for such incredible talent.
Reading Plath
Added by: Si
Samantha makes a good point. All readings of poetry are subjective, but this doesn't mean that we shouldn't discuss it or try and analyse it; after all, if we didn't, all literature would just be words on a page. Ezra Pound said 'Great literature is simply language charged with meaning to the utmost possible degree', and I'm inclined to agree; Plath's poems are engaging and fascinating precisely because they entertain such a multiplicity of responses. If a poet invests so much energy into writing a poem, then I think it'd be a shame to gloss over it, reducing it to paraphrase and simplistic readings. It's a two-way medium.

Having said that, I think the suggestions of incest are perhaps a little speculative. :) I agree with Benjamin; the patriarchal figures in the poem, who ostensibly refer to Hughes and Plath's father, are images, almost caricatures. The vampire imagery, for instance, is grotesquely comic; its directness seems to me to be at odds with Plath's tendency towards allusion and suggestion. I also agree with the notion that the poem looks outside of the personal sphere towards culture and society in general. I think 'Daddy' is at least partially concerned with the 'peanut-crunching crowds' of 'Lady Lazarus' - the poem seems to be performing a role, playing up to a part to some extent - but I'd argue that it goes the other way as well, that this assumption of a role reflects back upon her emotional landscape and her personal life as well.

Anyway, that's a few ideas that I had. Feel free to agree with/disagree with/argue against/expound upon these views...
Added by: Henna
A lot of the comments posted here make good points, but some of you must have no idea how much mis-spelling words and using improper grammar detracts from an argument. It makes a person look just a little stupid to use casual abbreviations such as "u" and "ppl" when trying to address a serious topic. I would suggest the few of you that can't spell use spell check before posting comments, (Mary: Beliefs) Using the phrase "I so think..." is ill advised as well. Educated thoughts on literature should be presented confidently, and if one is going to use the phrase "I think" or "I believe" they should make it just that, without adding Valley Girl flourishes.
Added by: Tim
Well said Henna.

I have just recently started to read Plath and I'm no poetry expert by any means, but this is definitely the most provacative poem of hers that I've read so far.
Added by: jodie lee
this poem i had to read about 3 times befor i understood the full capasity of it i think it is one of her fineist peaces and i really enjoyed it
Added by: nazgul9
I personally don't think that this poem, nor similiar poems like 'Lady Lazarus' really display the genius of Plath's poetry. While I admire her open exploration of the dark parts of her life and her constant experimentation with different writing styles, it seems to me that these poems are more of a tribute to her status as a 'cult figure' than examples of her brilliant verse.
Sylvia & Ted
Added by: Kym
I have newly discovered these two people. I am intrigued by them . I have begun reading books about them and will be returning to the bookstore to purchase books written by them. It is so very tragic that the pain of Teds infidelity was so unbearable that Sylvia took her own life. I need to read more about them and Assia Wevill also.
sylvia the satirist
Added by: Linnea
this poem is actually less serious than most people realize. of course, it is infact about her anger at herself for marrying a man she felt was supposed to replace her father. But she was not writing about her father, or even about ted! she was saying good riddence to her previous ideas of what she wanted a husband to be ("father, lover and son", she is quoted as saying.)
when she began this poem, the rhyming took over; infact, when she read this poem aloud to a close friend (Clarissa Roche) they were both rolling on the floor laughing. oddly enough, this is her most quoted poem. a little joke on her part, i'd say!
Added by: Pete
The innocence of "Daddy, Daddy" shows such powerful needy love. It makes me realise how important I am to my own daughter. Phew.

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