Study Guide

Morning Song Youth

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The midwife slapped your footsoles, (2)

Pretty much every movie with a baby in it probably has a scene like this one: baby is born and gets smacked into the world. No wonder the baby starts out screaming. The fact that Plath chooses a stereotypical image of first-moment baby-ness suggests that she's not going to be claiming that her baby is extra-special in any particular way. Nope. It's just a baby. A very loud baby.

your nakedness (5)

Once again, Plath resorts to fairly typical images of babies to describe her newborn. This time, though, the image gets turned on its head just a little bit – this newborn is, in fact, a statue, which is something slightly less dependent and helpless than other forms of babies.

All night your moth-breath
Flickers (10-11)

It's funny how one little baby can command so much attention, huh? But our speaker has moved from thinking about the ways that the baby interacts with her life to – well, letting that baby play a part in her life. Even though the baby is no longer screaming, our speaker is paying all sorts of attention to it!

Your mouth opens clean as a cat's. (15)

There's something lovely and pure in this description of "you," the baby. Cats are well known for not recognizing anything else in the world but themselves – sort of like babies. But at least this image is "clean" and peaceful. Maybe our speaker is coming around to her baby.

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