Study Guide

Tulips Calling Card

By Sylvia Plath

Calling Card

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.

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