The poem “Morning Song” Essay
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In the poem “Morning Song” what feelings does the narrator feel about the birth of her child, and how does she present it?
The narrator in the poem uses metaphors, lack of structure and language to portray her feeling about the birth of her baby. She clearly experiences an uncomfortable relationship with her child at the start of the poem, but towards the end of the poem, her relationship clearly changes.
The narrator appears to feel a lack of love between her and the bay, this idea is presented through the narrator’s use of metaphors.
During the first stanza, the narrator describes the baby as a “fat gold watch”, a strange comparison considering the watch is a ‘lifeless’ object unlike the baby, it clearly suggests that there is missing bond between the mother and baby.
What is particularly interesting to note is the use of the adjective, “gold”, which portrays the baby as a novelty, rather than an object to be loved. This idea is supported throughout the poem when the writer compared the baby to a “statue”, again an object viewed by humans, not loved. Whilst one can argue this is just a simple use of metaphors, not to be taken literally, it can equally be argued that there is a definite lack of bond between the narrator and her baby which leads to an uncomfortable relationship.
Another technique used by the writer to portray the narrators’ feelings about the birth of her child is the lack of structure. There is no rhythm or no form, this furthers this sense of lifelessness, and portrays an inanimate image to the reader. The odd spacing between lines, (continuing sentences between lines, without using punctuation either) empathises this rather ‘jagged’ feeling that the writer appears to create. Plath does not appear to use many commas between lines either; the reader must decide when the pause whilst reading this poem and this contributes to an ‘uneasy’ feeling, which symbolises the narrator’s feelings
However, the narrator perhaps indicates towards the end of the poem, through the use of language that her feelings change about the birth of her child. In the third stanza the narrator states, “Your mouth opens clean as a cat”- this is the first time in the poem that the narrator has used a simile in her poem, rather than the use of a metaphors. It suggested that the narrator finally accepts that her baby is not an object, it a symbol of her growing bond. This idea is furthered when the narrator states; “the clear vowels rise like balloons”. The key word in this quote is “vowels” which has connotations of human speech, and the comparison to the vowels “ris[ing] like balloons” possibly hints of a certain beauty in the baby.
To conclude, the writer uses a range of techniques to portray the narrator’s feelings about the birth of her child, these techniques are the use of metaphors, lack of structure and her use of language. She clearly feels a lack of love at the start of the poem between herself and the baby, but towards the end of the poem, seemingly has created a bond. I think that the uses of metaphors are particularly effective, because of the convincing manor in which the metaphors portray the narrator’s feelings in a way which would otherwise be difficult to present. However, I feel that here use of structure is not as effective, some readers may find this a challenging concept to understand, and contributes to a rather dull atmosphere hence the writer could be alienating readers.