Intense, Direct, Personal Poetry
Sylvia Plath's poetry is often called "confessional poetry." For our purposes, that just means that she tackles intensely personal and often upsetting subjects in a very direct way. She uses the word "I" when referring to the speaker, instead of "she" or "he," and she gives us an all-access pass to her speakers' minds. Her images can be beautiful and surprising, but also brutal and shocking. So if you're reading free-verse poetry that tackles difficult, emotional issues in a vivid, direct, and intimate way, you just might be reading Sylvia Plath. "Tulips" is no exception.