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by Sylvia Plath

Metaphors Analysis

Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Form and Meter

This poem definitely has a form, but it's not one that you've heard of before because it's particular to this poem—you could say it's custom fit, perhaps maternity fit. The first line gives us a...


Our speaker pretends to be all mysterious and sphinxlike, but really spells out the riddle to give us an easy solution: the "I" in this poem is a pregnant woman, who isn't exactly reveling in the e...


We're nowhere, folks. Literally speaking, if we imagined the setting of each metaphor, it takes us to Africa, where there would be majestic elephants roaming out on plains, back to suburban America...

Sound Check

The speaker in this poem might be bitter about having a child, but the sounds in her writing would be pleasing to a child's ear, as riddles often are. We could imagine a mother reading this aloud t...

What's Up With the Title?

The title of this poem hasn't always been the same thing—at one point, this poem was apparently published as "Metaphors for A Pregnant Woman", which is a bit on the nose if you ask Shmoop. We thi...

Calling Card

Sylvia Plath loves making her readers work. This poem is a prime example, as it's through and through a poem of metaphors and riddles. When you read Plath, you might find yourself stopping again an...


Though this is a short, relatively simple poem, it's also a riddle, and you have to work a little to get at the hidden meanings in this poem. There's metaphor after metaphor, and each line could tr...


Plath may have been a poet, but she sure wasn't down to hang with a crowd. In her words, "I much prefer doctors, midwives, lawyers, anything but writers. I think writers and artists are the most na...

Steaminess Rating

For a poem about pregnancy, there's little talk of the birds and the bees.

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