Floetry Fridays with Nicole
This week’s poem is called “Child” by Sylvia Plath. It is an endearing, but saddening poem about the realities that children face when they are newly entering the world. We all face this fear of sheltering those we love from the scary and disturbing truths of the things around us, especially those younger than we are. It can be quite painful to face the eyes of such an innocent mind and know that they will someday endure heartbreak, suffering, isolation, rejection, and crushed hopes and dreams. It is something that we wish to fill with blossoming flowers and warm summer days, so that the corrupt nature of this world never touches them. This poem is also relatable to all adults who find it hard to survive as a changing adult, while trying to stay attached to the colorful beauty around us that keeps us children at heart.
“Your clear eye is the one absolutely beautiful thing. /I want to fill it with the color and ducks,/The zoo of the new” starts off the poem and emphasizes an unstained eye. One not filled with color nor experience, but clear and ready to be filled with the gorgeous breath of all the world has to offer. All of us are born free of the sorrows that stay tattooed in our irises. It is not until we learn our morals and build our values that we then open doors to things that can entrap us, rather than expand our minds. Here the speaker is placing immense value on their willingness to share these revelations with these fragile and transparent eyes. However, the second part of this poem states “Not this troublous/Wringing of the hands, this dark/Ceiling without a star.” Which brings to the forefront, what is beyond the bright and peaceful things. The darkness that will engulf these eyes that the speaker cannot shield this young, small and unblemished soul from. That we as humans cannot control the sweet things from turning sour, no matter how much we try.
This poem was also written about two weeks before poet Sylvia Plath committed suicide, which leads to speculation that this was inspired by her baby son, and revealed hints of defeat in her inability to shield him from the pains or the world, or possibly herself. It is an incredibly powerful, but short piece of work that serves to some as her final thoughts of this dimmed universe within her mind. We all must protect and nurture our own eyes from the horrid nightmares that may end up haunting them, all while accepting them and finding a way to utilize that pain into strength. An innocent mind cannot be marked by what they have been taught cannot hurt them.