MorningSong by Sylvia Plath
Thepoem was written after the writer had given birth to her daughterFrieda. The first stanzas of the poem illustrate a strange thingabout absence of mothers love for her baby (maternal feelings). Asthe poem progress to the last stanzas, the mothers love emotionsreturns to her child probably after getting over labor pains. Plathconfesses about this feeling of separation and alienation from herbaby. In the following stanzas, the poet takes us through heremotional transformation as she begins to feel her child.
Thesestrange images and comparison depicted in the poem serves toemphasize the oddity of alienation feelings by mothers. Expressionslike ‘cry as bald’ strikes one with surreal image of ‘thingnessor inanimate’ form of the baby. This strangeness is extended whenshe later compares the baby to ‘a fat gold watch.’ While watch isan innate object, the baby is an animate thing the underlyingmessage is that love is achieved through engagement and not through amechanical act like winding a watch.
Plathuses surreal images to help the reader see childbirth as a strangething contrary to what people understand it as a ‘naturaloccurrence’. In this aspect, Plath poetic style is disorienting toreaders by applying surrealism. The intrigue presented by the poetthrough emphasizing the nonhuman aspect of the baby is quiteunfathomable, but this is what creates meaning, plot and structure ofher poetic work. The description of inanimate aspects of the childusing surreal images like ‘the statue’ in a ‘drafty museum’is a stylistic device used to develop the poem theme of alienationand strangeness.
Thepoem ends with the baby taking a human form which equally transformsthe ‘strangeness in the mother’. In this case therefore, surrealimages have been used to develop illustrate how alienation andstrangeness could be overcome. In the absence of this surrealimagery, the poem would lose plot and the general theme. Morning songindicates awakening of instinctive aspects in the child andovercoming of alienation and strange feelings by the mother. Overall,the element of imagery has been well applied in making the poem aninteresting and an educative piece that shows the creativity andpower of women in poetry.