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Category - Poetry & Prose
December 31, 2016
November 14, 2016
Sylvia Plath’s poetry has been recommended to me by nearly every professor or teacher of poetry I have ever had. Now, having read The Colossus and Other Poems, I can see why. Plath’s modern voice–free verse and ripe-to-splitting with evocative imagery and metaphor–feels very similar to my own poetic voice.
Despite this, I am left with an overall sense of disappointment with her poetry. The Colossus and Other Poems seems like a half-baked collection of poetry a college student might hastily put together for an undergraduate thesis. What didn’t I like? In particular, many of her poems followed the simplistic structure of: describe a scene (perhaps a field, a shipyard, or the view out the window) in beautiful detail. Find something dead in it or related to it, and end with a macabre flourish. In general, I disliked that her poetry felt like getting hit with overhead repeatedly with a morbid sledgehammer. After a few poems I felt a creeping sense of “I get it” when each poem circled around to a stanza or set of lines that presented death on a silver platter in a burnt, ochre-hued landscape. I get that collections of poetry need to be thematic, I just like when that theme is woven into the collection with a bit more nuance and subtlety.