The Colossus

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This poem by Sylvia Plath was written in 1959 and gave name to her first collection of poems The Colossus and Other Poems in which it is already included. This collection was published in 1960 and since this moment she was recognized as a young new talent because of her poetry techniques. Regarding some biographical data, we should take into account that Otto Plath, that is Sylvia's father, died after a long period of untreated diabetes when she had just eight years old. Facing the death of someone you love is not something easy to deal with for an eight-year-old girl; she was strongly affected by the loss of her father.

Many of her poems were influenced by her father's death. For instance, this poem seems to make a tribute to the legacy and memory of Plath's deceased father, a poem dealing with the loss of someone who was important for the speaker.

The poem is divided into six stanzas, five lines each. It recounts a current day in the life of a person who takes care of a statue, for instance, she describes many cleaning and repairing processes. From the beginning of the poem up to the first half of the poem (until the fifth stanza) there is a long extended metaphor for a woman who is suffering the loss of someone she really loved, in this case her father, symbolized by the colossus, a statue which represented a deceased person in the ancient era and was meant to evoke the individual's presence as well as his absence. In this first part of the poem, she attempted to reconstruct her father's absence which strongly increases in her mind. She is emotionally affected by his death and it is shown throughout the poem. By contrast, at the second half...