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Mushrooms

Mushrooms

by Sylvia Plath

Mushrooms Analysis

Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Form and Meter

"Mushrooms" doesn't follow an established structure, but there's no denying that every inch of it is carefully crafted. For starters, the eleven stanzas all have exactly three lines, with each line...

Speaker

You can find a lot of writing that theorizes about Plath's deeply personal connections to the speakers of her poems, with "Mushrooms" being no exception. For example, there's been a lot of talk ove...

Setting

The speaker paints a dark and eerie picture of mushrooms pushing their way above ground on a forest floor. Lines like "Soft fists insist on / Heaving the needles, / The leafy bedding" really do the...

Sound Check

Plath may doesn't drop a regular rhyme scheme on us with this poem, but she goes nuts with poetic devices of assonance, consonance, and alliteration. In case you don't know already, assonance is re...

What's Up With the Title?

It's a poem about mushrooms, so… it's entitled "Mushrooms." The end. J/K, Shmoopers. There's a little more to it than that (you knew there would be). Though the speaker spends the whole poem desc...

Calling Card

One of the many things Plath was good at was creating dark, intense images with only a few well-chosen words. This spare and striking style is on full display in "Mushrooms." Just check out this st...

Tough-o-Meter

The language is evocative but easy to understand. While the underlying symbolism is multilayered, it doesn't give you too much of a headache to unravel. Even your grandma could make it up this moun...

Trivia

Sylvia Plath's first meeting with Ted Hughes was crazy dramatic. Get this: she walked up to him, introduced herself, and recited his own poems to him. It seems like Plath picked the perfect pick up...

Steaminess Rating

They may be fungi (see what we did there?), but nope—no sex here, folks.

Allusions

(31-32) Matthew 5:5—"Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth."

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