Asphodel That Greeny Flower Poetry Analysis

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Flowers beautify the world and bring joy to those in it. Some people become inspired by flowers and write, sing, and talk about them. All of the literature that comes from flowers evokes many different emotions and touches on many different topics. Sometimes the writings can stem from sadness, enjoyment, forgiveness, or jealousy. Many of the greats of literature have written about flowers and used them to explore topics and themes that others may not touch upon. The poems “Asphodel, That Greeny Flower” by William Carlos Williams, “Tulips” by Sylvia Plath, and “Rose Pogonias” by Robert Frost present themes by using figurative language regularly throughout the poems and utilizing flowers as representations. To begin, these three poems use various …show more content…
In Williams’ poem, he uses flowers to represent different aspects of his love for his wife. Feeling guilty about his affair, Williams wants to confess to his wife, but tries to make the situation better. One example of this is near the beginning when Williams writes, “Today / I’m filled with the fading memory of those flowers / that we both loved” (15-17). Williams is saying that in this moment of wanting to tell his wife his wrongdoings, he is filled with memories, represented by flowers. He reminds her that they both loved them and attempts to make her remember the good times. Another example, he says, “I bring you, / reawakened, / a memory of those flowers” (79-81). Williams again uses the flowers to represent past experiences and memories he and his wife have shared. The asphodel may represent their current state being he has cheated on her, and the other flowers represent the happier memories from the past. The critic Kathryne Lindberg says, “... the poem [‘Asphodel, That Greeny Flower’] is full of self-conscious references, citations, allusions, apologies” (137). Lindberg agrees that the poem does have many memories embedded in it. Williams uses the flowers to represent all of the aspects of his love that help him apologize. He attempts to recall her memories from the past and remind her of that time, while still trying to confess to her. In Plath’s poem, she uses the flowers to represent life to contrast her want for death. One example, she writes, “Upsetting me with their sudden tongues and their color, / A dozen red lead sinkers round my neck” (41-42). Here, Plath is saying that the tulips are too red and colorful and that they keep her down but still keep her afloat. Being red, the tulips contrast her white hospital room and remind her of life outside

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