Writing on Women Writers

A site for college students to write about women writers.

Mrs. Grimm, Sylvia Plath

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tumblr_ltqefsWPGv1qgo2b4o1_500Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath has a very unique writing style. She was definitely way before her time which I think each writer we have learned about was. No one has really seen any dark writings like hers before. Even the music that was around during her time was not as dark as her poems. I decided to call this blog Mrs. Grimm because her poem The Disquieting Muses reminded me so much of a twisted fairy tale and that is exactly how the Grimm brothers wanted their work to be like.


“ When on tiptoe the schoolgirls danced,
Blinking flashlights like fireflies
And singing the glowworm song, I could
Not lift a foot in the twinkle-dress
But, heavy-footed, stood aside
In the shadow cast by my dismal-headed
Godmothers, and you cried and cried:
And the shadow stretched, the lights went out. “

That part of the poem, The Disquieting Muses stuck out to me the most. She starts out as the image of school girls dancing, happily. But then she refers to a girl who was not like the others and could ‘not lift a foot in the twinkle-dress’. She’s referring to being part of the out cast group. She was not like the other girls who would be in their fancy dresses; she’s saying she did not belong in that world. It is also interesting that she brings up Godmothers because in fairy tales, a girl would have a fairy Godmother that would bring happiness and joy to the girl. But in this poem, the Godmother seems to describe the ‘heavy- footed’ girl as if she is a shadow that shuts off all the lights in the world referring to happiness. It was just an interesting poem because people expect to read poems about happy fairy tales but she shocks her readers.

“Day now, night now, at head, side, feet,
They stand their vigil in gowns of stone,
Faces blank as the day I was born,
Their shadows long in the setting sun
That never brightens or goes down.

And this is the kingdom you bore me to,
Mother, mother. But no frown of mine
Will betray the company I keep.”

This part of the poem interested me also. Throughout the poem she refers to a mother as if the poem is directed to a mother. When a person hears fairy tales, they usually think of a mother because a mother is the one telling their children about them and how they will meet their prince charming one day or saying how the world is a fairy tale. But the line ‘this is the kingdom you bore me to’, Plath in a way saying that she hates this fairy tale world because it’s not like what it was promised to her when she was growing up.

I truly believe this poem is about how the world is not what people expect. The world is not a fairy tale, it actually is full of darkness and evil in the way that Plath describes it in the poem. In this poem the girl sees the world in a darker way while everyone else is blinded with the thought of castles and a prince charming. I feel like Plath was definitely inspired by The Grimm Brothers because the Grimm Brothers did not sugar coat anything and made their stories twisted and dark and Sylvia has the same sense of writing as them. Even though, they did not write poems but they did show the darker side of the world to people.

Also, a song that does make a referance to Plath and the song has the same dark lyrics that Plath would write.


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