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Lecture 12

ENGL 3550 Lecture Notes - Lecture 12: Sylvia Plath, Perfect And Imperfect Rhymes, Enjambment

Course Code
ENGL 3550
Christine Bold

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ENG 3550
March 2, 2017
Sylvia Plath
Openings of Novel and Poem
- compare
Sylvia Plath reading Lady Lazarus
- Slightly longer than version we are working with
- Reading only days after published
Poetic Form
- “ We require of a poem that the words spring toward each other in magnetic attraction..”
- In doing close reading of poems opening 1st 3 stanzas a lot of detail will be trying to
think of how compression or intensity is induced with techniques
- Compression, intensity
o Possible interpretation of some effects and implications
- Regular stanzas
o Triplets
o Manifestation of control?
- Sound effects
o Irregular rhyme: perfect (again/ten) to slant (ten/skin, foot/weight)
o Assonance, consonance
o Poem begins and ends with perfect rhyme
o Irregular rhythm or metre
o Enjambment pushes you into the next line “I manage it—“ or “My right foot”
o Alliteration (eg. “f” sounds)
o Connectivity, recursiveness, intensification, but also off-kilter
- Figures of speech/tropes
o Persona (biblical, historical, mythological)
Lazarus Jewish figure raising from the dead
Phoenix bird died and reborn out of the ashes
o Simile to metaphor (stanza 2 to stanza 3)
“my skin Bright as”
“my face a featureless” – pulled this to her not like but is
o Layers and intensified forms of objectification; female personae embody and
voice experience of exposure, death, rebirth
o She chooses to out herself as woman as Lazarus empowering OR an
objectifying process never see her but see her as / empowers self but is
disempowered by the audience
o How female voice experiences death and rebirth
- Pronoun use, syntax
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