Mind Map by jenniferlyons94, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by jenniferlyons94 over 6 years ago


Leaving Certificate English (Poetry) Mind Map on Plath, created by jenniferlyons94 on 05/29/2013.

Resource summary

1 Black Rook in Rainy Weather
1.1 "I cant honestly complain: A certain minor light may still lean incandescent Out of kitchen table or chair"
1.1.1 Even through her depression there is a light or ray of hope at the end of the tunnel
1.2 "A brief respite from fear of total neutrality"
1.2.1 A state which is empty of any feeling or direction
1.3 "with luck, Trekking stubborn through this season of fatigue, I shall patch together a content of sorts"
1.3.1 season represents her depression, never really expects to be completely free of it so decides to make the most of it
1.4 "Arranging and rearranging its feathers!
1.4.1 Presenting itself as best it can to the world
1.5 suggests gloom
2 Poppies in July
2.1 "little hell flames"
2.1.1 Poppies are untouchable. Have no effect
2.2 announces summer flowers but by end of first line poem has a sinister quality
2.3 "I put my hands among the flames. Nothing burns"
2.3.2 impulse for self-inflicted suffering, trying to get a reaction
2.4 "A mouth just bloodied"
2.4.1 reference to own life, blow taken when husband cheated on her
2.5 "Where are your opiates, your nauseous capsules?"
2.5.1 wishes for the drugged state the poppy is associated with. Violence or sleep are preferred to her present state
2.6 "But colorless. Colorless."
2.6.1 longs for escape, opiates seen as a means of releasing her into a numbed inert state where everything is...
3 Morning Song
3.1 "Love set you going like a fat gold watch"
3.1.1 child conceived in love, simile suggests baby is precious and the moment of her birth golden but reminds us the child has entered world of time, world where transience and mortality are unalterable realities
3.2 Sympathise with Plath, intensely personal poem
3.3 morning captures sense of beginning, song captures feeling of celebration in mother
3.4 "bald cry", "took its place among the elements"
3.4.1 declares she has now assumed her place in the wider world, "to..."
3.5 "New statue In a drafty museum"
3.5.1 child is unique & precious but also conveys her vulnerability in the cold "drafty" world
3.6 Key theme - complex mother-child relationship. Unusual sometimes starling imagery. Tone varies - detached to affectionate


  • In stanza 2 & 3 Changes in stanza 4 rest portray the mother-child relationship - mood of happiness and contentment
3.6.1 portrayal of the different emotions experienced by a new mother. Vividly depicts the complexity of these emotions.
3.7 "we stand round blankly as walls"
3.7.1 Feels helpless to protect her child, seems to feel separated from child as she takes her place in the universe
3.8 "moth-breath", "among the flat pink roses", "a far sea"
3.8.1 underlines the fragility of baby, & suggests her delicate beauty. Plath straining to listen to child, can hear the sea
3.9 "One cry, and I stumble from bed"
3.9.1 attentive mother responding instantly to child's cry
3.10 "handful of notes; your clear vowels rise like balloons"
3.10.1 closing image appropriately joyful, baby experiments with her voice and her...
4 Mirror
4.1 "I am silver and exact"
4.1.1 gives itself in clear direct manner, reflects things exactly as they are
4.2 dark poem, reflects on number of inter-related themes. Inevitability of old age/death, our preoccupation with image, search for identity. Woman's world is dismal, cold, loveles.
4.2.1 Mirror is personified & speaks for itself, describing its relationship with a woman. Giving the mirror a voice gives poem sense of immediacy
4.3 "no preconceptions", "unmisted"
4.3.1 does not pre-judge, it is without bias, ensuring the image any feelings.
4.4 "I am not cruel, only truthful"
4.4.1 mirror is cold & emotionless, immediately swallows whatever it sees, reminded of the inexorable passage of time. Image captured by the mirror at a particular point will never be exactly the same again
4.5 "the eye of a little god"
4.5.1 sounds arrogant, implying we worship at the mirror that reflects our image
4.6 "Now I am a lake"
4.6.1 metaphor - flat surface of a lake reflective like mirror but lake has hidden depth so suggests connotations of danger woman searching for her identity and find her way of life. Suggestion that mirror reveals more than outer physical appearance, reveals deeper realities
4.7 "turns to those liars, the candles or the moon"
4.7.1 light has a softening effect on her reflection
4.8 "tears and agitation of hands", "important to her"
4.8.1 points to woman's inner torment, fact that mirror is...idicates her insecurity
4.9 "drowned a young girl", "like a terrible fish"
4.9.1 lake metaphor developed, with the mirror/lake describing how the woman its depths, while watching old age daily rise towards her... day by day the mirror has recorded the aging of the woman, witnessing her anguish
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