by Sylvia Plath
Morning Song Language and Communication Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Line)
Morning Song (title)
We've said it before (like, say, in our thoughts on "What's Up with the Title?"), but we'll say it again now: any time a piece of literature references language, it's a big red flag. And when a poem calls itself a song, then you know that it's going to be thinking through what it means to sing, or even to communicate in general. That's exactly what this poem does.
[...] your bald cry
Took its place among the elements. (2-3)
Our speaker really emphasizes the baby's ability to make noise – in fact, it's the first thing that she describes "you" doing. There's something about this cry that seems pre-linguistic, however. Maybe it's because it's described as "bald" and "elemental." Maybe it's because babies don't really have that great a grasp on language in general. Whatever it is, this cry seems to be set apart from language.
Our voices echo, magnifying your arrival. (4)
If you've been thinking that just about every line has something to do with language so far, well, we'd have to agree with you. Notice, though, how ill-defined the speaker's voice seems to be in this line? For one thing, we don't know what she's saying. For another, echoes have never been particularly crisp or easy to understand. It's almost like the adult voices get blurry and hard to understand in the wake of the baby's arrival. Which might just help us to understand why our speaker feels a bit upset at the arrival of her baby.