1.“MAD GIRL’S LOVE SONG”
The poem “Mad Girl’s Love Song” is a master-piece in the history of literature. It is penned by Sylvia Plath. It is basically a ‘Villanelle.’ It is basically a poem that contains 19 lines. These lines basically consist of five tercets (three line stanza) that are followed by a quatrain (four line stanza). Before going into the details of the poem, the very thing that attracts our attention is the title of the poem. The very word ‘mad’ is to show the anger as well as mental and psychological failure of the poetess. It is about a girl who is mad in love with her father. With two conflicts in her mind, she tells the reader that she is aware that she has fallen in love with her father but on the other hand she also confesses that she is going to commit a sin by being in love with her father.
In the very first stanza, we see that she is following the philosophy of “Seeing is believing.” When we read the details, we see that she has shut her eyes and she thinks that the world has also started disappearing. But when she re-opens her eyes, she cannot deny the fact that the world has gone nowhere. It is still before her eyes. She puts an end to the stanza saying that although the absence of her lover has made her life unworthy and miserable, it is only hallucination and phantom created by her own shattered thoughts and mind.
In the second stanza, we see Plath using ‘Personification’ of ‘waltzing stars’ and ‘arbitrary blackness.’ With the help of personification, she actually is trying to show the darkness and the isolation in her life. She believes that stars are the shining masses and can brighten her life but they have also gone. Blackness has been coming rapidly and darkening her life. But in the last line of the stanza, once again she focuses on the idea that all the sorrows and depression of her life will come to an end, if she does not accept the existence of this world.
In the third stanza, we see Plath sharing a dream with the readers. Through this, she wants to tell her readers that love is truly a magical thing. She is still having closed eyes from previous stanza and is still inside her own head with her shattered thoughts. Having closed her eyes, she imagines that her lover comes to her and kisses her in her dream. This gives us another idea that she is unable to meet her lover except her dream. She is still yearning to have his company in the real world. It means that her lover is just in her mind and nothing else.
In the fourth stanza, we see Plath’s concept of madness at the highest point. A person with logical reasoning and faculty cannot deny the existence of God, hell, heaven, good angel and bad angel but Plath says that heaven and hell do not matter to her because God is not staying at the sky. Similarly, she says that the fires of hell have been over and good angel and bad angel have also disappeared from her life. Basically, she wants to tell that she knows that all these things exist. She knows that the world will start disappearing if she closes her eyes but it will start reappearing is she reopens her eyes. God, Hell, heaven, good angel and bad angel all exist and she will have to face the consequences of her actions but she is not ready to accept the reality. Similarly, all the suffering and miseries are the result of her love for her lover who does not deserve her true love.
In the fifth stanza, the poetess Sylvia Plath gives expression to a false hope still existing in her mind. She says that her lover had promised to return to her, so his arrival is a must. He will definitely come to her but it does not happen. Now, she is growing old. She is not able to love her at this age because she knows the bitter reality of the world “Only the youngsters can love someone.” Now, she has reached the age where she believes that she is going to forget her lover’s name, that’s why; she is going to have another thought that perhaps her love and lover were nothing else but an illusion for her.
In the sixth and last stanza of the poem, the poetess shows pessimism on one hand and optimism on the other hand. She believes that she must not have loved a man instead she must have loved a thunder bird, mythological bird. This idea clearly shows that she does not believe in her lover’s loyalty and wants to forget him forever and ever. On the other hand, she thinks that thunder bird is not seen in winter but always returns in spring. We can say that she is trying to forget the real world and once again trying to have imaginary love in her life.
In a nut shell, the poem is remarkable for Plath’s thoughts and craftsmanship. With the help of visual imagery, personification and use of anaphora, she has successfully conveyed the themes of isolation, madness, love and disillusionment.