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by Sylvia Plath

Analysis: Sound Check

Like a mirror, the sound of this poem is silver and exact; there isn't a syllable out of place. If this poem were a song, we think it would be slow and sad, a lament. The song would be performed with dark lighting, with the singer sitting at a classy black piano, but mostly singing a cappella. The song would be tied together not by a catchy rhyming chorus but by subtle repetitions of sounds, like the k-sounds in lines 7 and 8 – "pink," "speckled," and "flickers," and the slant rhymes in "darkness" and "fish." After the song was over, listeners would probably have the chills, certain repeated words from the poem, like "over and over," and "day after day," echoing in their minds.

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