Asphodel That Greeny Flower Analysis

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Flowers beautify the world and bring joy to those in it. Some people become inspired by flowers and write, sing, and talk about them. All of the literature that comes from flowers evokes many different emotions and touches on many different topics. Sometimes the writings can stem from sadness, enjoyment, forgiveness, or jealousy. Many of the greats of literature have written about flowers and used them to explore topics and themes that others may not touch upon. The poems “Asphodel, That Greeny Flower” by William Carlos Williams, “Tulips” by Sylvia Plath, and “Rose Pogonias” by Robert Frost present themes by using figurative language regularly throughout the poems and utilizing flowers as representations. To begin, these three poems use various…show more content…
Plath almost seems like she enjoys the fact she may die and welcomes death with open arms. Another example of Plath using figurative language, she says, “The tulips should be behind bars like dangerous animals” (58). Just before this line, Plath says the tulips are trying to save her, but she does not want to be saved. She wants the tulips to be locked up because they pull her to life and not her plan for death. Freedman states, “In ‘Tulips’... the tulips, which have a grotesquely animated materiality and a heavy, monstrous, corporeal presence” (120). Plath makes the tulips seem frightening by using figurative language. She wants them locked up and makes the tulips seem they pose a threat to her health, but in actuality, they try to save her. She wants to die, but the tulips aim to keep her alive. Plath is called to life by the tulips and questions whether she wants death or not. Regarding Frost’s poem, he uses figurative language to reveal the beauty of nature. Two examples of this, Frost writes, “And the air was stifling sweet / With the breath of many flowers” (6-7), and “For though…show more content…
In Williams’ poem, he uses flowers to represent different aspects of his love for his wife. Feeling guilty about his affair, Williams wants to confess to his wife, but tries to make the situation better. One example of this is near the beginning when Williams writes, “Today / I’m filled with the fading memory of those flowers / that we both loved” (15-17). Williams says that in this moment of wanting to tell his wife his wrongdoings, he becomes filled with memories, represented by flowers. He reminds her that they both loved them and attempts to make her remember the good times. Another example, he says, “I bring you, / reawakened, / a memory of those flowers” (79-81). Williams again uses the flowers to represent past experiences and memories he and his wife have shared. The asphodel may represent their current state being he has cheated on her, and the other flowers represent the happier memories from the past. The critic Kathryne Lindberg says, “... the poem [‘Asphodel, That Greeny Flower’] is full of self-conscious references, citations, allusions, apologies” (137). Lindberg agrees that the poem does have many memories embedded in it. Williams uses the flowers to represent all of the aspects of his love that help him apologize. He attempts to recall her memories from
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