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Confessional Poetry In The Word By Sylvia Plath

925 words - 4 pages

Poetry Essay

What sets apart the poetic style of both modernism and postmodernism is that both attempted to diverge from the traditional proses of 19th century, specifically, from realism. Both also tend to form around the philosophy of subjectivity as both explore the inner emotions of characters and thus use it to develop ideas and conceptions in the reader’s mind. Experimentation is present is both modernist and postmodernist works; however, it takes on a central role in postmodern works and deviates from the sense of order and generalized opinions. Both modernism and postmodernism digress from the classical belief of guidelines for writing good poetry and take on the approach that ...view middle of the document...

Her work has been recognized in advancing the genre of confessional poetry or "of the personal," in that it emphasizes writing about personal experiences and widens the scope of social themes that are written about (Ousby p. 199). Her poem is written in four stanzas that each contains five lines. She wrote “Words” in an open form that allows her to write in a way in which her work “does not have an established pattern to it”; this allows Plath to write without “worrying about trying to make the words fit a specific meter or rhyme scheme” (Open and Closed Form). Thus, Plath is able to express her feelings as she writes about the nature of poetry itself. Plath’s poetry is in essence a vivid blast of emotion that surrounds her during her life. “Words” shows the reader the despair and emotional breakdown that Plath feels. In fact, “Words” “was written only ten days before Sylvia Plath’s death by suicide” (Terribly-Perfect). As Paul Mitchell writes, “Most of Sylvia Plath’s last poems are characterized by a poetic language on the point of collapse. As such, the voice of this work can be said to be in process or under erasure in the sense that it reveals an unraveling of signifying practice, manifested by both non-sense and, more paradoxically, the resonance of silence” (Mitchell 2005, p. 37). Thus, in “Words” Plath was attempting to show the loss of energy and control she had in her life; she did this by combining two seemingly distinct images together: axes and horses. “Ax strokes are an image of power and controlled force. Galloping horses are exhilarating but imply the potential for loss of control” (terribly-perfect). “Words” is written in metaphors and shows the “metaphoric movement from energy to stasis, from...

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