It must be a tusk there, a ghost column. A Birthday Present Poem by Sylvia Plath A Birthday Present What is this, behind this veil, is it ugly, is it beautiful? The midwife slapped your footsoles, and your bald cry Took its place among the elements. Even in works where the first person speaker has some sort of omniscience, such as when she is recounting past events, the reader may still make judgments about the stability and veracity of the voice. The unconventional poetry of Sylvia Plath reflected her life experiences, her search for love, and her unstable mental state. I this the one for the annunciation? Now there are these veils, shimmering like curtains,The diaphanous satins of a January windowWhite as babies' bedding and glittering with dead breath.
When I am quiet at my cooking I feel it looking, I feel it thinking 'Is this the one I am too appear for, Is this the elect one, the one with black eye-pits and a scar? It stands at my window, big as the sky. I know why you will not give it to me,You are terrifiedThe world will go up in a shriek, and your head with it,Bossed, brazen, an antique shield,A marvel to your great-grandchildren. Let us sit down to it, one on either side, admiring the gleam, The glaze, the mirrory variety of it. Let us eat our last supper at it, like a hospital plate. Do not be ashamed—I do not mind if it is small. There would be a nobility then, there would be a birthday.
She won a scholarship to Smith College in 1950 and even then she had an enviable list of publications. Do not be afraid, it is not so. The death-ridden poems move us and electrify us because of our knowledge of what happened. Born in 1932 to middle class parents in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, Sylvia Plath published her first poem at the age of eight. There is one thing I want today, and only you can give it to me. Measuring the flour, cutting off the surplus, Adhering to rules, to rules, to rules.
When the poem may be reduced to a voice that wishes for its own silence, it becomes a problematic issue as to how to interpret the text. Let us eat our last supper at it, like a hospital plate. The title presents an image of natural life at its most intense—at the height of summer. You are silver-suited for the occasion. I do not think you credit me with this discretion. I know why you will not give it to me, You are terrified The world will go up in a shriek, and your head with it, Bossed, brazen, an antique shield, A marvel to your great-grandchildren. One such difficulty, for instance, is the question as to why the voice of the poem perpetuates itself in the medium of poetry if it wishes to cease to exist.
If you only knew how the veils were killing my days. These things would prevent a woman from leading a happy and normal feminine life Bennett 103. Let us eat our last supper at it, like a hospital plate. Lowell elegantly sums it up: Suicide, father-hatred, self-loathing—nothing is too much for the macabre gaiety of her control. Allegory : by there being a deeper meaning behind her words rather than her literal meaning.
Must you stamp each piece purple,Must you kill what you can? Let it not come by word of mouth, I should be sixty By the time the whole of it was delivered, and too numb to use it. Let it not come by word of mouth, I should be sixtyBy the time the whole of it was delivered, and to numb to use it. Let it not come by the mail, finger by finger. Yet it is too much; her art's immortality is life's disintegration. It is shimmering, has it breasts, has it edges? While having the speaker as the subject is an ordinary technique in self-reflective poetry, this text deals with a largely absent speaker who ultimately undermines her own voice. The shame attached to suicide is overwhelming, not necessarily for the victim but those left to deal with societal pressures associated with it.
It is shimmering, has it breasts, has it edges? And the knife not carve, but enterPure and clean as the cry of a baby,And the universe slide from my side. Only let down the veil, the veil, the veil. Her intensely personal poetry was often rooted in everyday experiences, the knowledge of which can often open obscure references on cryptic images to fuller meaning for the reader. She just wants to open the gift and go quietly. Before committing suicide at age 30, Plath had written hundreds of poems and a novel about mental breakdown, The Bell Jar.
All these birthday poems that are available on our website are free to download or print. If we allow the implied speaker to tell us how to manage the language of the poem, each word must be treated as having a self-nullifying double meaning. But my god, the clouds are like cotton. This poem, then, requires the reader to form a different understanding of the author. Can you not see I do not mind what it is. .