One of the more difficult aspects of understanding poetry is that of the metaphor. The metaphor itself is simple in definition: "A word or phrase for one thing that is used to refer to another thing in order to show or suggest that they are similar". However, Merriam-Webster does not even begin to hint at what a metaphor truly means through the eyes of a poet, or how to interpret it for that matter. In fact, I would like to think that to every poet, the metaphor is different. It varies in its use, its meaning and even its intent. There are certain authors that do it better than others, that is a given. But those who are able to accomplish the metaphor in the way that Sylvia Plath does are few and far between. .
A somewhat dissimilar approach from her usual ways, Morning Song strays away from a theme of gloom and violence. That in itself sets the stage for an incredibly unique version of Plath's work, and it requires an equally unique approach in its digestion. While the vast portion of student readers will give the poem a once-over and get to work, a genuine understanding and analysis takes a bit more time. To fully delve into Plath's intentions with Morning Song we will go through a full process of surface level reading, a number of essential observations and an analysis and interpretation of the full work. .
The poem, Morning Song, comes from the pages of one of Sylvia Plath's most famous books entitled, Ariel. The book was published in 1965, nearly two years after the author's death by suicide. The poem is chalked full of every metaphor you can possibly imagine. As far as imagery and synesthesia go, Plath threw in everything but the kitchen sink. Upon first read, the metaphorical language is almost overwhelming. It is difficult to discern what contains substance and what is just there for fluff. Once the reader understands that Plath has specifically and strategically placed every word for a reason, a further understanding can be reached.