2.”EDGE” BY SYLVIA PLATH
The poem “Edge” is supposed to be the last poem written by Sylvia Plath because it was written six days before she committed suicide. The concept of the edge is basically the edge between life and death. It is the edge that she crosses and finds peace in the end. We come across a mother who commits suicide after killing her children.
In the first and second stanzas, the speaker begins the poem by first describing the nature of a dead woman. The very first word that attracts the reader’s attention is “perfected.” The speaker tells that the woman becomes normal after committing suicide and shows a “smile of accomplishment.” Apparently, she is showing a smile of accomplishment but in reality, it is only an illusion. She has reached nowhere.
In the third and fourth stanzas, the speaker further narrates to the readers the details of the image of the dead woman. We see that her toga is placed nicely and perfectly. The speaker further tells that her feet were bare and symbolize that they have covered long distances and cannot go further because they have reached their destination. “We have come so far, it is over.” The distance mentioned here can resemble the distance a man covers throughout his life.
In the fifth and sixth stanzas, it is revealed that she has also killed her children before she commits suicide. Making use of a metaphor, Sylvia says they are coiled next to their mother and compares them to the serpents. These children may be the miscarriages that she made during her love and now she is embarrassed and shows remorse. It also points out the Greek tragedy in which Medea kills her own children because her husband is not loyal to her and leaves her for some other woman. Another idea related to the killing of these children is that she wants to commit suicide and thinks that no one would help them rather everyone would try to use and play with them, and that’s why, she kills them.
In the seventh and eighth stanzas, the speaker tells us how the woman folds her children back into her body. Even after death, she is not ready to separate them from herself. It shows that death is the only solution for the poetess for all the problems she is faced with. Here, the use of simile is very obvious. The poetess compares this situation to the petals of a rose. Images introduced in these lines are fascinating and related to a woman but at the same time, they are disturbing and heart-rending.
To sum up, with the help of amazing skill and craftsmanship, Sylvia has tried to tell us that nothing can be a substitute for a mother. Whatever she is and wherever she is, no one can replace a mother. No doubt, suicide and killing of one’s own children can never be justified in any condition and at any cost. That is what she is trying to justify. She wants to discuss the very idea that a mother can never see her children in any trouble. Thinking that no one would support them after her death, she kills them and commits suicide.