Sylvia Plath Comparison Essay

1343 Words May 8th, 2013 6 Pages
Comparison:
Sylvia Plath’s “Tulips” and Mary Oliver’s “Poppies”
Throughout time females have found it hard to achieve acceptance and accreditation in the world of poetry. However, two American female poets, who were born in the 1930’s, did make a name for themselves. During this era of rapidly changing gender roles, social values and world politics, these women were able to produce a rich variety of poetry. These poets are known for their driven personalities and their captivating poems about alienation, life and death, imagery and transforming their reader into a world of discovery. Sylvia Plath’s poem “Tulips” and Mary Oliver’s poem “Poppies” both share flower imagery, female personas, and display themes of life, but each poem differs
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Mary Oliver is trying to depict that the flowers embody enjoying life without fear of death. The light shown from the flowers represents the holiness of the lord, His “invitation”. Oliver describes this representation in her sixth stanza: “But I also say this: that light is an invitation to happiness, and that happiness.” (21-24)
Mary Oliver tries to show her reader that the poppies symbolize the distinct separation between life and death, that humans have to cherish life and not take it for granted. Oliver depicts this in the first stanza: “The poppies send up their orange flares; swaying in the wind, their congregations are a levitation.” (1-4)
Again this quote is suggesting living your life without the fear of death or that terrifying things may happen; the vibrancy of the flowers show people that they perform their best for others to see. This differs from Sylvia Plath’s use of flower imagery because they are two different views of life. The tulips to Sylvia Plath make her depressed; she feels that life has been taken away from her and that these tall, red and blossomed tulips show her the newness of life and love; what she can’t have. Lastly, the main parallels of flower imagery that the authors describe are that both flowers, the tulips and the poppies, represent life, holiness, and the state of their own hearts. Both poems, “Tulips” and “Poppies”, also demonstrate female personas. Persona is

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