Comparing and Analyzing Sylvia Plaths poems'Blackberrying'and 'mirror'

Essay by mogulie January 2004

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Sylvia Plath was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1932. In the 1950's she married an English poet Ted Hughes, but their marriage was an unhappy one, though both of them were highly creative. Her poems often have darker sides to them as she suffered severe depression in the latter years of her life. She committed suicide in 1963.

In this essay I intend to compare the two poems 'Blackberring' a poem celebrating the beauty of nature and 'mirror' a poem about the poets desire to reveal truth, to look at the way Plath uses language to create a different mood in each poem.

In Sylvia Plaths's poem mirror, the poet talks if she were the mirror being spoken about in the poem. This poem is layered and to try to understand it the reader must look at the basic level and than decide what this basic level represents.

The first stanza gives the impression of a riddle, the first two lines especially, 'I am silver and exact' is a simple description of the mirror, silver in colour and appears exact as it is perfectly smooth, but this description is given like a clue.

'I have no preconceptions' Meaning the mirror only goes by what it sees, it has no preconceived idea of what the person looking into it is like, this image is its first concept 'Whatever I see I swallow up immediately'

She suggests in the first section that a mirror only reflects the person looking in to it, and doesn't pass judgement 'unmisted by love of dislike' and tells the truth about what it sees. 'I am not cruel, only truthful' this could also describe feelings of the poet as well as the mirror, how her poetry is a not cruel but a reflection of how she...