Sylvia Plath's Poem 'Tulips'

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Poetry, for me, is a release, a chance to explore complex emotions and delve into themes that go undiscussed in everyday life. Reading and analyzing writing to find a concealed meaning provides me a welcome distraction from reality. It allows me to both lose and find myself in the work. I admire and gravitate to poems that examines darker themes, but can still be enjoyed purely for their lyrical language. For these reasons, I am fond of Sylvia Plath’s poem, “Tulips”, due to the disparity between what is depicted and what is implied. In the poem, a stay at the hospital transforms into a conflict comprised of existential dread with the introduction of seemingly innocent red tulips. Plath, with her skillful use of language, imagery, form, and tone, crafts a captivating world of beauty and despair around the reader without ever disrupting their…show more content…
“Tulips” is written in free form and first person narrative to produce a flowing narrative. I have direct access to the narrator’s thoughts and emotions and am free to make my own interpretations based on the information provided. In this case, I am fully immersed in the narrator’s world, where she is alone in her hospital room with the tulips. Though there are other characters obviously present in the poem, such as the “nurses”, “anesthetist”, and “doctors” (Plath, line 6-7), the narrator depicts them as insignificant, mere objects from the narrator’s point of view when she describes the nurses are numerous and identical (Plath, line 13-14), thus making it impossible to distinguish any memorable qualities. The only other seemingly “living presence”, a significant and threatening one, are the tulips, that “eat” and “breathe” (Plath, line 37, 49). Through first person narrative, I can view the world from the narrator’s point of view, giving me a greater understanding of why she views the tulips in a hostile
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