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Lady Lazarus

Sylvia Plath

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Lady Lazarus
Added by: Thomas Weeatherell
Plaths poem lady lazarus is not nessacarily about 'silvia's' suicide attempts, instead it is about her attempts to understand death and to make us understand it by pushing images like 'full skull... rotting breath" you can noyice also that while the images are dark and gruesome that she always manages to break through her problems 'i rise out of the ashes....my red hair... eat men like air..." a clear symbol of the pheonix. so dont be so quick to judge her poetry as her way of showing us her problems, but rather as a way we can get through our problems. that is by facing up to them and fighting our way through them.
Lady Lazarus
Added by: Eugene Jones
Was Lady Lazarus written just after a depressed period, I'm writing a paper on depression (Dysthemia) for a college Psy course and I would like to know what form of depression Ms Plath suffered from. I thought Lady Lazarus was impressive and would be a excellent example to my class of one of the ways that people who suffer from depression deal with it. I myself suffer from Dysthemia and was at one time diagnosed as borderline clinically depressed. I live with thoughts of death and suicide on at least a weekly basis; and sometimes daily. The only reason that I am still on earth today is because of my belief in God.
You People Are biased and naieve
Added by: Sierra
I love the writings of Sylvia Plath because I can highly relate to her writings and the things she went through in her life.
Many of you who are ignorant on the psychological topics of neurosis,depression, manic-depressive disorder (aka Bi-polar) think that she was an insane woman who was selfish in her various suicide attempts and depression ,etc...
Well, you either are naieve on this subject, or a completely selfish moron highly inflicted with an extreme inferiority complex.
Lady Lazarus is a beautiful poem. I completely interpret it as her emotions and desire to end her life. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that when she says "I do it so it feels like hell..." and the lines where it talks about doing it once in every 10 years... If you know anything about her life you would know that she made two suicide attempts every ten years, and suceeded on her third. She makes this quite clear in this poem. You can somewhat interpret the poem as somewhat a suicide note.
People, stop being such jerks.
Thank you for allowing my opinion!
Male Oppression
Added by: cynthia watkins
I think the fact that Lady Lazarus is an autobiographical explination of Sylvia's own sucicde attempts is apparent in the poem. However, what I found interesting is her choice in entitling the poem Lady Lazarus, the subject matter is obviously about a woman whom journeys into death and returns. Appropiate titles would include references to Inanna, Ishtar, Persephone or other mythical females that have returned from the dead. But Plath chooses to reference Lazarus, from the patriarchal Christian religion. I think that this signifies her feelings of oppression in a male dominated society. (This poem was written in 1965 although things are still not perfect gender myopia has drastically improved since the 60's) I also feel that her closing lines assert her control of her existence, she rises again like the phoenix, and eats men like air.
Lady Lazarus!!!
Added by: PV
It is a wonderful poem but it would be better if the reader has lived almost a similar experience in life in order to a fully understand of the poem. It is very difficult to read and understand because she uses symbolic and creative language techniques trying to express her thoughts and emotions.
The title of the poem refers to the biblical story in which Christ brought Lazarus back from the death. But in her case, she brought herself back (female power) from the death three times, when she nearly die from an accident at the age of ten, tried to kill herself at twenty, and ran the car off the road at thirty.
I think she is talking about her invincibility,” Dying, is an art, like everything else, I do it exceptionally well”. She was not defeated for the suicidal attempts that she had made. Sometimes she seems to think that she has many lives. She talks about herself as she is the cat that have nine lives. She comments the fact that she tried to kill herself twice and twice it did not work and she has been close to death once and nothing has happened to her.
She feels a kind of satisfaction when she talks about killing herself, but at the same time she sets herself up as a victim, comparing herself with the oppressed Jews. Plath tell the reader that it is very easy for her to kill herself, “the nose…the sour breath will vanish in a day”. She explains that her first death (at the age of 10) was an accident, but that the second time she ”meant/To last it out and not come back at all”.
ThE MiRRoR....Plath's image...
Added by: PV
This is an excellent poem! The poem refers to a mirror square or rectangular, ”four-cornered”, fixed in the wall. In the first stanza, the mirror is describing itself: silver, exact, not cruel, etc ... The mirror expresses only the truth, it reflects everything that it sees, exactly how it sees it (“ Just as it is”) without intention of being cruel. The poet compares the mirror to “the eye of a little god”; as God sees all, the mirror reflects it all. It has been on the wall for a long time and many faces has interrupted the fixed image that it gets from the wall that is in front of it, ”...pink, with speckles”.
There is a woman, the woman looks at the mirror with an anxious feeling as someone who see his image on a lake. The image in the mirror is very important for her. She trusts the image on the mirror and she calls the moon and the candles liars. Everyday, the woman searches what she is by looking at the mirror again and again, and once she has discovered her truth, crying and moving her hands she claims what she has become. Day by day she sees how the young girl (her youth) is disappearing ("she has drowned a young girl") and instead comes an old woman,”like a terrible fish”.
The description of the mirror is personified, letting us to get a better understanding to the emotional sense of the mirror. Basically, Sylvia Plath is expressing her feelings when looking at herself, her concern about age and its consequences.
lady lazarus
Added by: laura
I have been reading SP's poetry for the first time on the internet. My sister commited suicide last year and this very dark poem has really disturbed me. Lady Lazarus is one of the best poems of SP I have read so far. The speaker seems to be telling us why attempting suicide is a good choice for her to make. She first states that her three resurrections have given her positive reactions from people and this feedback is what drives her to do it again as it both empowers her ("beware..I eat men like air") and makes life bearable for her for another decade. The reasons that a person contemplates suicide may not make sense to us but hopefully we are not mentally ill and so we cannot expect them to make sense.
Added by: olga
i heard an audio recording of sylvia reciting this poem. it almost seems like a mocking of death. a gruesome satirical poem that is also stoic.
Added by: judy
I don't pretend to fully understand this poem, I think it's one of her more oblique ones.Sometimes I feel like people pick apart these poems to understand them, looking at every reference, every apostrophe in detail, when in fact it's impact is better felt on a more general reading.Yes, its autobiographical, aren't most works of literature to an extent? But even if you know nothing of her life (and you cannot assume that the narrator of these poems is the poet herself) it's incredibly powerful and immediate, because of he use of language, which she sometimes seems to spit out 'pick the worms off me like sticky pearls' and at other times is distanced enough to be mocking of herself, ironic and humorous 'dying is an art...i do it exceptionally well'.Anyway, its very well crafted i think, and I always like to read her poems, because like a lot of young women I'm death obsessed, and occasionally depressed, and its almost cathartic for me to read them out loud.and how good is that last line?
I've got to illustrate it for my degree course.what do you think this poem should look like?
Close your eyes and feel, like she does...
Added by: anne
I really like " Lady Lazarus" . I think it is the poet of a woman who is simply very tired. She has not succed in killing herself when she meant to die, so she just repeats it - this time not believing she will (can) die. Not out of some selfish notion she is stronger than death, but perhaps because she has lost faith that she can manage to kill herself. Not because she feels empowered, but because, deep down, she feels weak, unable even to die when she wishes to... And maybe the "i do it exceptionally well" line is an irony...because she tries to, but she does not succeed in dying. So she has to try again, and that is the failure...she is curious to see what will happen...
I do not think the poem is either pessimistic or positive in nature. Rather, it is a description of the state of mind of a woman who doesn t feel comfortable within herself. What do you think about that?

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