Compare The Way Poets Explore A Sense Of Loss

995 words - 4 pages

The poets’ explorations of the feeling of loss extends much further than the ephemeral. It is a continuous feeling which transcends the physical, embodying itself equally in the facets of identity, life, and trust. Plath, a confessional poet, uses her poetry as a cathartic medium to convey her personal loss. This lends a very personal tone to her poetry, while Frost writes from an observational perspective, often taking on the persona of a being experiencing loss. The poets use families and the belittlement of women to align the reader with the many facets of loss.
The loss and pain associated with the loss of life is explored by the two poets but from two differing perspectives, Plath expresses the sadness and anger which accompanies her losing a loved one, Frost on the other hand is more stoic and shows that life simply goes on regardless. In ‘Daddy’, Plath conveys her sorrow and anger which is felt in the death of her father. To her, it is such that, he ‘bit my pretty red heart in two’. She conveys her pain through this violent imagery. Her vitriolic attitude toward her father is conveyed when she talks of his “fat black heart”. This image is both lifeless and apathetic, the colour black is used extensively by Plath throughout her poem as it sums up the isolation and the darkness of loss. It is not only in childhood that his death affects her, at the age of twenty she “tried to die” to get “back, back, back” to him, and gets to the stage where, “even the bones would do”. Plath shows through her repetition that death has a lasting impact on those left behind. Her yearning and despise for her father is felt through pain in the vivid imagery. This loss is transported to other relationships “I made a model of you, a man in black… and I said I do, I do.” Just like her father this man whom she marries is associated with the colour black. This shows that he too would be one to cause her pain. Contrastingly, Frost takes a more placid and pragmatic approach to the occurrence of death and loss. In the poem ‘Out, Out’ the audience is introduced to a situation where due to an accident, the “life” is copiously “spilling” from a boys severed arm. Frost uses this metonymy of blood to foreshadow the loss of life approaching. His pulse became “little – less – nothing!” The anti-climax uses death to reduce a person to total anonymity. Then the onlookers seeing “no more to build on there” and “since they were not...dead, turned to their affairs.” The onlookers seem very cruel and harsh in their actions but in hindsight, the audience is able to acknowledge that what they have done is practical in a harsh rural setting. While there is a loss of life in both poems, Plath ties in her emotions to show how this loss is a prolonged pain and extends to other...

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