Painful Reminder

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"Upsetting me with their sudden tongues and their color, / A dozen red lead sinkers round my neck."
Tulips by Sylvia Plath (201)

To me, the presences of roses disturb Plath because before their arrival she was comfortable in her misery.  Now these beautiful flowers exude life and vitality something that at the moment appear to be far away from her. She can no longer be pleasantly numb because of this constant reminder in her room.  She says, " Nobody watched me before, now I am watched."


Don't forget to post a comment that points back towards the class web page, please.

GeorgiaSpeer said:

Painful reminder indeed…this poem was very disturbing and painful to read. I am assuming it was when she went into the hospital for treatment with all the references that are made to her attempts at suicide. It is hard not to associate her troubles in her short life with her works. This poem to me screams of help! She is looking for the exit and does not want to have to feel reminded of anything, she wants to be numb and feels that everything around her is suffocating her. Her lose of her father and the troubled marriage she had, left her with the abandonment that she could not get over. This poem shows so much evidence that she is very unhealthy, mentally, emotionally and phsyically, as to the last two verses elude, “The water I taste is warm and salt, like the sea, And comes from a country far away as health.” (203) To me this shows the tears that are falling and she tastes them, and understands such as a foreign country, health seems to be far, far away for her and will not be visited.

April M. Minerd said:

I'm glad you shared your interpretation of those final lines. I had reread them several times, and continued to come up short with an idea as to what she had meant by the sea. When I finished you comment, I thought, "Tears! of course." I agree the sound and tone of this and other poems of hers (not to mention the brief bio) would suggest a lack of emotional health.

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