The poetry of Sylvia Plath & Ted Hughes

Essay by sbaker234High School, 12th gradeA-, November 2014

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Panashe Gumbo


IB English II

Mr A. Pav

Essay Test: The Poetry of Sylvia Plath & Ted Hughes

Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath were a couple that largely influenced the literary world through the way they conveyed their poetry to various readers. Not only bound by marriage but also by their similar love of writing, they would go on to create a dimension of poetry that would shake the normal comprehension to what a poem was comprised of in the eyes of their critics. Their employment of various themes such as nature, darkness and violence as well as use of literary techniques that helped emphasize the meaning to the syntax expressed on paper like enjambment, use of metaphors, personification and similes, greatly enhanced the message of the poems they composed even though in some instances, a reverence of darkness and sadistic imagery played intrinsic roles in how twisted their poetry could become.

Sylvia Plath was categorized as a confessional poet. One who focuses on extreme moments of individual experience often including previously taboo material such as mental illness, sexuality and suicide often set in relation to broader social themes. Her themes of darkness, violence and vivid imagery accompanied by personal reference can be seen within the poem "Cut". The opening stanza commences with the phrases, "what a thrill --- my thumb instead of an onion. The top quite gone except for a sort of hinge". She commences the poem by not announcing that she has suffered an injury, but instead sees it as a thrilling experience. She has now established what has been cut and offers a detached statement of sorts, a mere observation of, "oh, my thumb is cut". From this we can gather that the speaker of the poem may be an indulgent of self-harming activity. That...