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Sylvia Plath

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Added by: Chaz
I like this poem because it gives meaning to bringing a life into the world instead of taking lives out of it.
Added by: khuselo
u think that the "clean slate" might be refering to her miscarriege. she waited for nine months to get her baby but then she miscarried it.it could be that she just got nothing after the wait of nine months.just thinking.just wanted to come up with other alternatives.besides,that's what poetry's all about.
Added by: Jess
There is no definte word of 'baby' in the poem, however it becomes obvious to the reader. It is talking about an unborn baby, 'O high-riser, my little loaf' implies the baby is growing inside her as bread grows in an oven. There is a clever change of the saying snug as a bug which has been transformed to 'snug as a bud'. 'A creel of eels' is describing the baby wriggling inside her and 'jumpy as a mexican bean'. The womb is 'a pickle jar'. The baby is offten reffered to as an equatic creature, 'eels', 'prawn' and 'fish'. Plath compares its precence to global space, 'farther off than Australia'. 'A clean slate' is showing the baby will be new and be its own person. Plaths 'travelled prawn' must stay in its 'pickle jar', 'snug as a bud' until it is ready to leave.
Added by: Sarah
This poem definitely refers to the baby as it is in the womb, as opposed to having recently been born, as there are so many references to the foetus in the womb -'Feet to the stars.'
Added by: Anna
the poem was clearly written from the heart and is one of the most effective ways to show the emotions clearly over-filling the author. Personally I liked the poem because it gives me the feeling of how special is every grain of sand in the universe, in other words how unique is every newborn baby that comes into this world.
Plath - You're
Added by: Mia
You’re is one of Sylvia Plath’s more positive and up-beat poems written at a stage in her life where she felt things were looking brighter. Such as the success of writing good poetry – ‘The Colossus’, and the pregnancy of her first child, Frieda. Being pregnant was the main contribution to this poem being written on a much more positive note. The prospect of becoming a parent was something Sylvia felt was an achievement and success, considering the long period of unsuccessfulness she had felt previously. Plath’s ambitious, striving and rather self-critical personality generally contributed to her poetry writing. This habit can be seen in her more upbeat poem, ‘You’re’, where the knowledge of being pregnant gives Sylvia the sense of accomplishment, pride and freedom she ha been craving for.
This poem is therefore a contrast to her other poems which quite often refer to such issues as her mental conditions and her relationships with people, her father in particular. However, although this poem has some mention of the fact that Ted was a part of her success, there is really no reference to these issues as it is written on a lighter and more happier note. Sylvie is so overcome with the joy and success of her pregnancy, that her usual dark and rather depressed style of writing is absorbed and replaced with a more comical and cheerful style.
Sylvia uses similes, metaphors and colloquialisms in order to compose the feeling of success and happiness of her triumph in becoming a pregnant mother. Sylvia’s use of similes and metaphors help in defining the process of the pregnancy and truly capturing the essence of the types of emotions she is feeling towards this infant. The colloquialisms on the other hand are used in reference to Sylvia’s motherly love and pride in this child. e.g. ‘little loaf’.
The poem is split into two verses, each verse is made up of 9 lines, the poem could most likely be structured in this form in order to correspond to the 9 months of pregnancy which Plath must impatiently endure for the birth of this child.
Plath begins the poem by describing the baby inside the womb, the description of its position and the actions of the infant. Similes such as,
‘Clownlike, happiest on your hands
Feets to the stars, and moon-skulled’
Are used to obtain the vivid image of the infant inside the mother’s womb. Lines such as these are also what give the reader a more lucid illustration of general knowledge which we have on pregnancy, thus helping to indicate that this poem is actually about Sylvia being pregnant and talking about her child. The reference to foods in the poem also suggest that this poem is about pregnancy, bearing in mind that a frequent hunger for rather unique foods during pregnancy is common.
‘Like a sprat in a pickle jug’
Plath then goes on to describe the long period of time she must impatiently wait for the birth of her child by using such similes as,
‘Vague as a fog and looked for like mail.
Farther off that Australia’
By using such images, we are given the perception that Sylvia’s impatience for achieving something is quite vividly described in this poem.
Plath then returns to describing the baby inside the womb. This time illustrating that the baby is safe, perhaps due to the loss of her previous pregnancies. Towards the end of the poem Sylvia begins to describe the baby as a new born, demonstrating that this baby makes her feel complete as though she has finally accomplished something, after feeling extremely unproductive for such a long time. She uses a simile to describe this emotion of completion,
‘Right like a well done sum.’
The last part of the poem appears to include Ted, in the line,
‘Bent backed Atlas,
our travelled prawn.’
The use of the word ‘our’ suggests that Sylvia wanted to include her husband Ted in this written version of her joy for her attainment because perhaps she felt that he was part of this success she was feeling.
Going onto the last line of the poem, Sylvia describes that this baby has the chance to start life on a ‘clean slate’ being an innocent and pure infant. This is probably a glimpse into Sylvia’s beliefs that perhaps this birth of her child is in addition giving her the opportunity to start things over, and an evocative of the peace, however brief, that Sylvia Plath did find in being a mother. This poem is a complete opposite of her other poems. Most of which were written during times of depression and discontent.
You’re is one of the only poems in which Plath writes about something other tan her mental condition or her relationships with strong figures in her life, yet still keeping with the same rather ironic and comical style.
Added by: laura
i don't think people who have left comments on this page have truly understood the underlying depths of this poem. i feel however we are all entitled to our opinions and i enjoyed reading some of your views.
Oh and about the poem i remember someone writing something about the dodo reference. in my opinion the line 'Thumbs-down on the dodo's mode' Plaith is saying no to extintion. thumbs down represents saying no turing something down and the dodos mode is extintion. Therefore it is a possitve image.
Added by: Kate
While the imagery points to an unborn baby, I find myself coming back to the fact that one of Plath's children WAS born on All Fool's Day.

This means that either Plath was a really good guesser or she composed the poem with hindsight after her baby was born.

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