Sylvia Plath Poetry Analysis

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The collective body of Sylvia Plath 's poetry demonstrates definitively her mastery of her craft. Plath has been criticized for her overtly autobiographical work and her suicidal pessimism, however, close study reveals that her poetry transcends categorization and has a voice uniquely her own. As Katha Pollit concluded in a 1982 Nation review, "by the time she came to write her last seventy or eighty poems, there was no other voice like hers on earth" (Wagner 1). In works such as "Lady Lazarus," "Daddy," and "Morning Song," Plath relates her own painfully experiences in the form of dramatic monologues using a persona who eventually triumphs over adversity by regaining the self that had been lost before the struggle of the poem. According to Plath, the narrator of "Lady Lazarus" has "the great and terrible gift of being reborn . . . she is the Phoenix, the libertarian spirit" (Wagner 71). In compact three-line stanzas, the speaker sardonically comments on her unique ability and its implications. Her tone demonstrates her boredom towards the attention paid to her by "the peanut-crunching crowd." Unlike the Biblical Lazarus who is called forth from the grave by Jesus, Lady Lazarus is able to resurrect herself and so avoids the polarities of God and Lucifer. Neither of these figures is able to exact punishment for the atrocities that man heaps on man, so the speaker transfigures herself by reducing her body to ashes and reviving her life through flame. As Leonard Sanazaro
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