Lady Lazarus: An Analysis Of Confessional Poetry

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Raw, sincere, honest, fascinating: confessional poetry. Confessional poetry is a genre of poetry first recognized in the late 50’s and early 60’s by the publication of Robert Lowell’s Life Studies in 1959. This genre of poetry is characterized by it’s incredibly intimate subject matter. Confessional poetry became popular because of how some of its main attributes such as autobiographical narration and a colloquial delivery both startled and captivated audiences. One of Lowell’s students, Sylvia Plath, was a distinguished poet who specialized in this genre. She had a tumultuous life: her father died when she was young, she had two children and her husband was unfaithful. In addition, she struggled with self imposed and societal expectations, all of which contributed to her depression, suicidal tendencies and mental unwellness in general.…show more content…
Lady Lazarus was written in 1962 and is one of Sylvia Plath’s most well known poems. Like all of her confessional poetry, it is autobiographical in narration, meaning it is a self written account of her experiences. This type of narration is a standard characteristic of confessional poetry and it helps to evoke emotion. Lady Lazarus is about suicide and what drove Plath to it, “I do it so it feels like hell. I do it so it feels real” (Plath, lines 45-48). In the excerpt, Plath has identified herself as the subject through the pronoun “I”, thus declaring it an autobiographical narration. She uses “it” as a reference to suicide which she has attempted twice and is sharing with readers how suicide, at least attempting it, offers her relief from constantly feeling like an object of society. This raw and unfiltered view at her inner turmoil with mental illness is facilitated by an autobiographical narrative, which declares honesty

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