Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Poem of the Day: "Edge" by Sylvia Plath, Poet of the Month

The Songs of Eretz Poem of the Day for September 3, 2014 is “Edge” (1960) by Sylvia Plath, Poet of the Month.  A link to the poem, reprinted from Plath's Collected Poems, may be found here:  http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/178970.  A brief biography of Plath and references may be found here:  http://eretzsongs.blogspot.com/2014/09/the-songs-of-eretz-poet-of-month-for.html.

"Edge" is arranged in ten couplets and employs a device similar to William Carlos Williams' variable foot.  As is typical of Plath's poetry, death, the macabre, and dark images are prevalent throughout.  

The metaphor of children as serpents that suck the life out of a woman, "One at each little / Pitcher of milk [breast], now empty," probably sprang from the stress that Plath experienced in attempting to raise her own two children.  Rejecting the common notion of the fecund Earth Mother as the feminine ideal, Plath saw "The woman perfected" only in death with the sterile Moon as her goddess.

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