Silence of the Iambs

When it comes to the poetry of Sylvia Plath, every syllable counts, and the usage of each sound device serves a specific purpose. On a similar note, her ability to create hesitation and pause through her carefully placed punctuation is unlike that of any other poet in American history. In the clip above, Plath reads “Daddy” with a strong narrative and clipped cacophony that further exhumes the raw quality of her work. She utilizes a medley of sound devices, including alliteration, dissonance, rhyme, and repetition. Onomatopoeia is especially prominent in Plath’s reading of the poem, as it brings new emotions to the diction and gives the listener a glimpse into both her life and mentality. Her words hold a brutal honesty that reverberates through the boundary of time and beyond.

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