Saturday, November 26, 2005

Edge by Sylvia Plath

The woman is perfected
Her dead

Body wears the smile of accomplishment,
The illusion of a Greek necessity

Flows in the scrolls of her toga,
Her bare

Feet seem to be saying:
We have come so far, it is over.

Each dead child coiled, a white serpent,
One at each little

Pitcher of milk, now empty
She has folded

Them back into her body as petals
Of a rose close when the garden

Stiffens and odors bleed
From the sweet, deep throats of the night flower.

The moon has nothing to be sad about,
Staring from her hood of bone.

She is used to this sort of thing.
Her blacks crackle and drag.


What caught my attention in this poem was the uses of stanza breaks as cliff hangers (which is probably why the poem is called "edge"). It seems like the second lines of each stanza make more sense when coupled with the first line of the next stanza, although each stanza introduces a completely new image. It is very hard to put each image in this poem together, to create something that makes sense. It begins with what seems to be a beautiful dead woman, who had lived a complete life. It starts to get eclectic later, where it seems as if the woman becomes food for baby worms and flowers as her body decays underground, until there is only bone left. Although this woman was very accomplished in her life, it is OK that she is decayed, because it is all natural.

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