[Skip Navigation]

Plagiarist Poetry Sites: Plagiarist.com | Poetry X | Poetry Discussion Forums | Open Poetry Project | Joycean.org
Enter our Poetry Contest
Win Cash and Publication!

Visitors' Comments about:

The Colossus

Sylvia Plath

Add a new comment.

The Colossus...
Added by: PV
In the colossus, Plath re-creates her dead father. She refers to his absent body as a sculpture. A fragmented body which she can never put together, the paternal colossus is at the same time an mysterious figure.
The Colossus was one of the wonders of the ancient world. In the poem she speaks to her broken Colossus. After reading the poem twice, I realized that she was talking about her father.
From the poem’s first line we know that she believes that she can never completely repair the monument. He can not be restructured into the father he was or he cannot be the father she always wanted him to be. In the third line she gives to the god-like image an inappropriate description, this is that the statue makes sounds of base animals like pigs and mules.
In the second stanza the strange views of who this colossus is continue. She is helpless to put him back together as she is helpless in clearing his throat to enable him to speak and explain. She has been at it for thirty years, she says. Also she states, “ I am none the wiser”; simple words that explain how she does not understand who he is because he was taken from her too early to share his wisdom with her.
By the third stanza, the colossus becomes even larger and imposing when she describes herself as an ant, crawling and mourning. Maybe because of the long time that has passed, the weeds have infested the statue’s brow, his head has become just a skull, and his eyes are not just empty but “bald.” She returns to the ancient times. She sees the blue sky over them as “out of the Oresteia,” a trilogy of ancient Greek plays. She also compares her statue (father)to the Roman Forum and describes his hair as “acanthine,” in the shape of the acanthus leaf .
Then we are brought back to a reality where she sits down to her lunch, on a “hill of black cypresses”.She mentions the “bones” and the previous description of the “skull” make this not just a ruin but a death.
She shows the intimacy between herself and the colossus when she explain that she is safe squatting in his ear, which can no longer listen but can keep her “out of the wind.”
Then she admits that while the sun rises, she remains “married” to shadow, and married to her death father.

» Add a new comment.

« Return to the poem page.