Poetry appreciation of “You’re” by Sylvia Plath Critical Analysis

When looking at the title of the poem, “you’re”, I get the impression that the poem is referring to someone else. It is about or to someone else. She could also be referring to herself, describing herself.

I did ask my self though who in the world could she be talking about? She does not state exactly whom she is talking about.The poem is divided into two stanzas, each with nine lines exactly. It is a short yet thorough poem. I noticed that Plath has once again used nine lines in each stanza, as she did in “Tulips”, and nine is known to be a death number.

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So once we look at this poem we could relate it with death once again, that is without reading it. The poem’s form is rather regular, as the lines are all equal and this creates a very parallel plain effect.The opening line of the poem is kind of confusing. It is a simile, it says, “clown like, happiest on your hands”, sometimes clowns are related with evilness.

Personally they give me the creeps; on the other hand they are happy and joyous. When she says ‘happiest on your hands, feet to the stars”, I picture one doing a handstand. So the clown was probably meant in a good way, doing a trick. “Gilled like a fish”, once again is a simile, which suggests that the way this ‘person’ breathes is very soft like a small fish.

Fish have small gills, and therefore this could mean that the person is young and na�ve. They have soft gestures and actions.The poem goes on with a metaphor, comparing this individual with a “dodo” bird. Whilst doing the handstand their thumbs are down like a dodo bird does.

A dodo sometimes is used to describe someone ‘stupid’, in this context it could mean the person is na�ve and therefore stupid to the outside world. It then goes on to describe this person further with another simile, “wrapped up in yourself like a spool”, suggests that this person is in their own world and doesn’t have a care in the world. Also she was depressed and depressed people are often within themselves. This could also mean she was talking about herself.

The next line is related to the previous one “mute as a turnip”, this person is within himself or she they are so quiet like a turnip, and turnips have no feelings or emotions. This is also a simile and this person is constantly quiet, because she says from the “fourth of July to All Fools Day”. This subsequent line gives me the impression that she is talking about one of her children because she says “O high riser, my little loaf.” She possibly referred to one of her children as her “little loaf”.

This now brings me to the second stanza of the poem. This stanza is also full of similes. “Vague as fog and looked for like mail”, suggests that this person was very hard to speak to and to relate to, and they were so far away “Farther off than Australia.” This human being was still small like a “bud” and hardly noticed like a “sprat in a pickle jug”.

This person is very ductile they are like a “clean slate”, which could easily be broken.The poem does not have a rhyme, or a rhythm. The tone is very happy at first with the ‘clown’ but goes on to being lonely as she describes this person’s distinctiveness.This now brings me to my conclusion.

I personally did not enjoy this poem. To me there was a very sinister and empty feeling, which made me very depressed. It was very descriptive with all the use of similes and metaphors.

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Poetry appreciation of “You’re” by Sylvia Plath Critical Analysis. (2018, Jan 06). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/poetry-appreciation-youre-sylvia-plath-essay/