6285PLATH AND EMERSON
- Dec 22, 2007
My friend, Chris, offered this answer to the question of the apparent contradiction between Plath's drive to be published and her notion of Nature as Evil.
"For Plath, the cosmos constantly assumes the form of an entropic, yet aggressively active tendency toward annihilation. This is evident in the following lines of her poetry
"What a trash, to annihilate each decade..."; "I am the arrow, the dew/that flied into the... cauldron of morning."
This active annihilation is true also on the personal level where at the personal level we have suicide. So Plath is not merely representing herself as a failure at the domestic level (namely as a mother and a wife), but she is also personifying the destructive forces in the Hephaestus-forge of being.
The "Ariel" poems represent the dark speaker's apotheosis as "everything and nothing." In the personal mythology of her poetry, Plath usurps the position formerly occupied by Augustine's God as everywhere and nowhere.
I believe that in the end (and only in the end) she needed to produce the poems more than she needed to see them published - they were ends in themselves, so to speak - through which she could approach the condition of being as nothingness, creativity as self-destruction - poetry as silence."
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