Dasein, Red Elephant.

Sylvia Plath, Lady Lazarus

L to R: “Two Women Reading” and “Nine Female Figures” by Sylvia Plath

I'm currently reading and re-reading Sylvia Plath's Colossus and Ariel poems. If you haven't read Plath before, this should be a good starting point. . Almost too many books have been devoted to the analysis of Plath's poetry, and because of our morbid fascination with suicide and tragedy, to her personal life. On the other hand, not much has been written about Plath's incredible oratorial stye of poetry reading. Her famous reading of Lady Lazarus for the BBC shows an extraordinary forceful enunciation that fits the poem's bitterness. Taking on some sort of an British semi-accent, the poem is spat out with controlled disgust and has so much aural power that it is almost difficult to listen to.

A collection of comments on Lady Lazarus. Link


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  1. * Anna Regan says:


    This poem is about a vulnerable person, sylvia, who despite being strong/immortal? was vying for the blessing of others. e.g. father/ Ted
    Lazarus relied on another to be raised.
    So despite the seeming anger/strength individuality in the author there was never that true autonomy /independance.
    The suicide attempts reflect this hopelessness at achieving self worth independant of the man.
    Hence the last line: and i eat men like air
    men being likened to an eternal/essential thing
    YET not sustaining to ‘eat’
    so an inappropriate relation to men/

    please post on LAZARUSpoem analysis for me* the page is down on my server

    | Reply Posted 12 years ago

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