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Welcoming a child coming to life in morning song by sylvia plath

Six blank verse 3 line stanzas Tone: The mirror, cats, wind and sea. Struggles, Depression, Childhood, Nature. Look for similes two unlike things are compared using as or like. Love set you going like a fat gold watch. The midwife slapped your footsoles, and your bald cry Took its place among the elements.

Welcoming a child coming to life in morning song by sylvia plath

Our voices echo, magnifying your arrival. In a drafty museum, your nakedness Shadows our safety. We stand round blankly as walls. All night your moth-breath Flickers among the flat pink roses. I wake to listen: A far sea moves in my ear. One cry, and I stumble from bed, cow-heavy and floral In my Victorian nightgown. The window square Whitens and swallows its dull stars.

And now you try Your handful of notes; The clear vowels rise like balloons.


Morning Song by Sylvia Plath: Critical Analysis When Sylvia Plath wrote this unconventional poem of hers on February 1961, she had given birth to her daughter Frieda. The mother love is strangely absent in the beginning of the poem. But the mother does move from a strange alienation to a kind of instinctive sweeping emotion, when she lives with the child for some time and when the child happens to breathe and cry; this probably happens after the intense labor pain is over, so that the mother could feel the love.

Plath is honest to divulge confess her feelings of alienation and separation. In the last three stanzas, the emotional estrangement changes and she impulsively listen to the sound of her child as it sleeps. The surreal images and comparisons are functional to emphasize the sense of oddity and alienation in the feelings of the mother.

The child is animate while a watch is inanimate. Love is engaging while winding up a watch is a mechanical act.

What the simile suggests, is the great distance between the act of love and the fact of the baby. What does this baby- this thing with its own existence- have to do with the emotions that engendered it? The poem closes with this idea of the child making poetry of the natural and innate human sounds filled with emotion. It deals with material instincts and its awakening. Plath avoids sentimentality in taking up the subject — of becoming a mother in a fatherly way.

A woman does not come to motherhood merely by giving birth. New behavior is learned. The being of the mother is as new as the being of the child. She follows her instinct: One secondary, but important issue that the poem deals with is; can a woman be both mother and famous poet? In this, she is dealing with one of the major issues that faced women poets in the twentieth century. This poem answers her implied question. Welcome to the land of symbols, imagery, and wordplay.

Before you travel any further, please know that there may be some thorny academic terminology ahead. Never fear, Shmoop is here. Sense Perception One of the neatest things about a baby's first few months is that the baby actually learns to experience the world around it. After all, there are just a few more sights and sounds and smells and touches out there in the Big World than there were in Mom's belly. As the baby feels, the speaker hears: Check our reading of line 10 in the "Line-by-Line Summary.

She just imagines the baby as that shadow. The baby's breath sounds like a "far sea"? Sound rising like balloons? Anything But Human Notice how Plath develops elaborate metaphors to compare both the speaker and the baby to anything but an infant and its mother? It's a pretty fascinating strategy — and it allows the speaker to defer establishing any sort of relationship with her newborn infant.

This changes, however, as the poem works towards its end — just as the speaker is working through her emotions about the baby. And we're just getting welcoming a child coming to life in morning song by sylvia plath. Not your typical description of a newborn, huh? Strangely enough, though, Plath asserts the metaphor as its own sentence, "New statue.

But it could also mean that the speaker is the baby's mother just as much as the cloud is. Either way, though, there's a troubled relationship between mother and baby — it's certainly not the declaration of possession that you'd expect to hear from a new mom. The speaker describes herself as a cow or, well, as "cow-heavy"which suggests that her relationship to the baby is an animal one: Ah, here's an interesting change. Words such as "like" or "as" introduce a simile, while metaphors usually don't use comparative terms.

  1. That's big stuff, folks.
  2. Her mother had given up her whole life for her so sylvia plath ran around faith that life is good and a song of letters home. No cheering or hugs or hoorays.
  3. The mirror, cats, wind and sea.
  4. Asserting that the baby is part of the natural world allows the speaker to see the baby as something miraculous. This is the moment that most babies have been waiting… well, nine months for.
  5. Love set you going like a fat gold watch.

Well, it suggests that the speaker isn't saying that the baby is a cat. That's a step closer to recognizing the child's relationship to her. Plath describes the baby's sounds as "vowels," which means that the speaker recognizes them as parts of speech. Plath avoids sentimentality in taking up a subject—becoming a mother—that is too often treated in a superficial way. A woman—certainly an ambitious poet such as Plath—does not come to motherhood merely by giving birth.

It also takes a certain amount of courage to admit to a colossal lack: Instinct has a role to play as well: This is not self-willed or under her control.

Alienation is overcome in her connection to her baby.

The third tercet, with its convoluted imagery, introduces a secondary theme: Plath, writing in 1961, had few predecessors who managed to achieve both. In engaging this theme, she is dealing with one of the major issues that faced women poets in the twentieth century.

If mothering absorbed her attention, would she still be the poet-artist she longed to be? This superb poem answers her implied question. Plath writes from a direct personal experience. The birth celebrates the life of Frieda Hughes. She was 10 months old at the time of writing. The cry of the child took its place among the elements; Frieda became a part of the world around her. Plath describes her baby as a new statue, thus describing a work of art completely unique. However Plath may also be talking about the statue-like still child from the miscarriage.

Plath talks of the complex relationship between baby and child: Stanza 4, 5, 6. Plath then speaks of the caring love that the mother expresses to her child. Flickers symbolises the delicate nature of the baby, whereas pink roses represent the warmth and colour of perhaps the wallpaper in the room.

Outside the stars are fading and dull. We don't know about you, but we're pretty sure that no newborn we've ever heard has had anything very complicated to communicate. That's the sneaky part of "Morning Song," though: But any time a poem figures itself as an address from "me" to "you"chances are that it will highlight the ways that it uses language to deliver its message.

This poem is no exception. The fact that it's about a baby only makes things more interesting.

Welcoming a child coming to life in morning song by sylvia plath

Questions About Language and Communication Do you think that babies can communicate? Does the baby in this poem seem to do so? How would this poem be different if it weren't addressed directly to the baby? By the end of the poem, do you think that the speaker feels like she's communicating with her baby or not? What language in the poem helped you to draw this conclusion? How does the lack of a rhyme scheme contribute to the speaker's message? How does Plath's use of assonance contribute to the speaker's message?

We witness as a woman goes from being a single person to being a mother. We've got a family. Funnily enough, though, not everyone is immediately overjoyed at the thought of spending their lives with a small, screaming bundle o' joy. Despite the tension that we see in the poem, by the end, we feel that the new family is forming strong bonds.

Questions About Family How does our speaker relate to her baby?