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A Birthday Present

Sylvia Plath

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Added by: Vanessa
I believe that this poem describes how much of a troubled woman she was and I am not offending her because I love her work but this poem makes me reflect on my life because I feel the same!
Added by: jess
I can't believe no one has posted about this poem. I think thats a good thing though because this is my favorite poem by Sylvia Plath and seeing everyone post there comments & ideas about any poem I like always ruins it, it takes away the mystery. I don't want to understand it completely, I want the wonder.
Added by: Teal
I love this poem, It has this odd connection with me i am not mature to understand yet, but it draws me in, and i can't keep from trying not to understand the meaning, but to understand what draws me and others to it.
Added by: cp
Jess, I agree. Sometimes everyone wants to analyze and understand and figure every out what every word and punctuation mark means. It's better to just let some things be, to only "understand" it as much as you feel it.
Added by: Candice
If anyone were to tell you that this poem means this or that then they are fools. There is no right or wrong way to interpret what was said, as speaking as a poet myself, there's always something hidden in the poem, something a poet likes to keep a mystery. In Sylvia Plath's case there really is no difference. She's a confessional poet whom writes a lot about her personal experiences but the way people tend to go line to line trying to interpret the meaning can definately be misleading. The only person who knows what message or what words Sylvia Plath was trying to convey to the audience was no other than Plath herself. Not even Ted Hughes could say exactly what Sylvia was trying to convey. So really, the way you interpret this poem is like interpretting truth itself; it's neither right or wrong but rather an insight to the differences of minds.
Added by: Kim T
I too agree with Jess, I believe if Sylvia wanted us to uderstand everything she would have spelled it out for us but instead she intended for everybody to get something differt from this poem. As she explaines herself in this poem, " I will only take it and go aside quietly"
Added by: Michael
Although it is slightly confusing, I can tell why people are drawn to this poem. Sylvia sounds almost like she is torn from life herself, as if she was writing this like it was from something else, it feels both understanding and frightening at the same time because people are afraid of death.
Added by: Kendra
Poetry is not about being black and white explicit. Sylvia Plath knows how to write poetry. It's not a matter of revealing her intentions, it's about relating to what she is writing.
Added by: Chuck
It's unreasonable to say that Sylvia Plath is a major poet, or even a great poet. Her range is too narrow, and she really never gets beyond herself. When you read Sylvia Plath, you are always reading Sylvia Plath. That is one of the most significant differences between the greatest artists, like Shakespeare, and writers who will be forgotten as the canon narrows with age. Plath's work tends to appeal to the self-absorbed adolescent, but the more I read and grow as a person, the less appealing it work becomes. There's no universality there; it's very personal, and so it never really overcomes what Harold Bloom refers to as "an opacity."
Added by: ak
Jess and those who agree,
If you don't wish to truly understand the poem as it was written how can you expect to relate to it as Sylvia Platt wanted you to? I don't understand how you can relate to a poem if you don't understand the small literary devices that are used. It's impossible! By the way so you don't think I am just making this up, I have tried to understand poems before using your technique and you truly can not comprehend a poems message if you do not analyze it. My example for this is in candice's comment. You obviously do not know what this means otherwise you wouldn't use it as an example.

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