top of page
  • arcprosepoetry

Poem of the week

The Colossus


I shall never get you put together entirely,

Pieced, glued, and properly jointed.

Mule-bray, pig-grunt and bawdy cackles

Proceed from your great lips.

It’s worse than a barnyard.

Perhaps you consider yourself an oracle,

Mouthpiece of the dead, or of some god or other.

Thirty years now I have labored

To dredge the silt from your throat.

I am none the wiser.

Scaling little ladders with glue pots and pails of lysol

I crawl like an ant in mourning

Over the weedy acres of your brow

To mend the immense skull plates and clear

The bald, white tumuli of your eyes.

A blue sky out of the Oresteia

Arches above us. O father, all by yourself

You are pithy and historical as the Roman Forum.

I open my lunch on a hill of black cypress.

Your fluted bones and acanthine hair are littered

In their old anarchy to the horizon-line.

It would take more than a lightning-stroke

To create such a ruin.

Nights, I squat in the cornucopia

Of your left ear, out of the wind,

Counting the red stars and those of plum-color.

The sun rises under the pillar of your tongue.

My hours are married to shadow.

No longer do I listen for the scrape of a keel

On the blank stones of the landing.

Analysis of colossus

Sylvia Plath was an American poet, along with credentials of advancing the genre of confessional poetry. The confessionalist I style emerged during the 1950 ,which was toned in background with an autobiographical aura.Confessional poetry generally deals with the deep recesses of human feeling like death , trauma ,and depression.

For Sylvia personal experience was not a shut box or mirror-looking narcissistic experience but it was relevant like Hiroshima.

One goes through multiple Hiroshimas and havocs throughout life and deep wounds bring deep words.

Death is the most recurring and realistic thing in Sylvia's poetry .In Full Fathom Five she depicts her death, burial and in the last she felt like exile!

In her poetry The colossus and Daddy she mourns , and declares herself victim of father and husband

Sexuality is a central tool in the perpetuation of male dominance and female submission..

During 1950 American women's life was mainly confined to home, they were denied many opportunities. Bleakness of monotonous domestic life, the demands and disappointments of pregnancy and husband's infidelity deepened her wounds which gave again and again fresh vitality to her confessionalist.

Nature is also an important theme in her poetry ,mainly she is attracted to the sea and fields. In full fathom five she has depicted her father as Sea God.

She was the daughter of a German immigrant college professor Otho Plath and one of his students Aurelian Schober.

It has been a matter of dispute that Sylvia was suffering from Electra complex. Electra complex is counterpart of Oedipus complex. The colossus ,she has written for her father who was for him a bigger than life figure.He died when Sylvia was mere eight but his effect was everlasting on the soft mind of a child which burrowed deeper and deeper with the time.

In the colossus she depicts herself sitting in the cornucopia,of her father. Sometimes she felt herself a tiny ant which ascended to the self made statue of her father with the help of a ladder!

She sees devastation like a lightning effect in him.

"A blue sky of Oresteia" is taken from a Greek mythology.

She saw her father as an ancient mighty Roman like figure.

Sylvia was suffering from bipolar disorder and ended her life by gassing in the kitchen. It happened just after a few days when her husband Ted Hugh deserted her along with two little children.

Artistic demands, demands of motherhood and torments of husband and father proved too much for her . She finally gave up.

Dr pragya suman

36 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page