Sylvia Plath

"Cinderella"

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Cinderella


The prince leans to the girl in scarlet heels,
Her green eyes slant, hair flaring in a fan
Of silver as the rondo slows; now reels


Begin on tilted violins to span

The whole revolving tall glass palace hall
Where guests slide gliding into light like wine;
Rose candles flicker on the lilac wall
Reflecting in a million flagons' shine,


And glided couples all in whirling trance
Follow holiday revel begun long since,
Until near twelve the strange girl all at once
Guilt-stricken halts, pales, clings to the prince


As amid the hectic music and cocktail talk
She hears the caustic ticking of the clock.

Poem Explication

In the first stanza of the poem "Cinderella" By Sylvia Plath, the poet is talking about her life going down hill. Plath says, "Hair flaring in a fan of silver as the rondo slows." Which means that she is aging and is not ready to be old. When it talks about the dance slowing down it also means her life is slowing down too. Plath also say, "Her green eyes slant." The color green symbolizes jealousy, so the girl or "Cinderella" could be jealous of all the other women at the ball who are beautiful and are still in their youth or young age. She could also be envy of all the other people who have wealth and fame and she doesn't.


The second stanza Plath is talking about the dance again. Plath say, "The whole revolving tall glass palace hall." Revolving or spinning could mean that everyone on the dance floor is spinning and confused, especially Cinderella because she doesn't know what death means. The dance symbolizes the feeling of joy one might get before they die. "Where guests slide gliding into light like wine." "Light" symbolizes death so after death you see a light. Wine is strong so it could mean something strong and mighty takes you after death.


The poet says, "Follow holiday revel began long since." When you get together for a holiday with your family it is usually a tradition. Which could mean death is inevitable and everyone dies. "Tradition" could also mean always, so everyone at sometime will always die. Plath writes, "Until twelve the strange girl all at once guilt-stricken halts, pales, clings to the prince." The number "twelve" could symbolize death too. Guilt-stricken halts." That could mean she is not ready to die and is afraid of what will become of her.


Plath says in the last stanza, "As amid the hectic music and the cocktail talk." As "Cinderella" knows she is going to die no one is paying attention to her because they don't know. Death comes in unexpected times. The poet says, "She hears the caustic ticking of the clock." As the clock is striking twelve times she could be seeing her past and everything she has done good and bad in her life. When the clock strikes twelve and rings twelve times that is when she dies.


In conclusion, the poem is saying that you shouldn't be jealous or envy someone that has a better life than you. Be happy of what your life holds and embrace your future. So when you do die or get old you don't regret anything you did or didn't do.

Poet Research

"Cinderella" by Sylvia Plath reflects on her whole life in lots of ways. Plath suffered with great anxiety and depression though out her life and wrote her poems in time of despair.


Plath writes, "Until near twelve the strange girl all at once guilt-stricken." Plath had two children and a husband who left her, so she could be feeling guilty for her children not having a normal life with two loving parents. Plath says, "And glided couples all in a whirling trance." Her life was confusing and complicated and she attempted suicide in 1953 when she was only nineteen. The words "whirling trance" could symbolize confusion and she could be wondering why she is alive or if she's even significant to the world. Plath talks about the clock saying, "She hears the caustic ticking of the clock." Plath committed suicide in 1963 by putting her head in an oven and turning the gas on. So the ticking of the clock could symbolize your life ending. Also when a clock turns to twelve it doesn't just stop and stay like that. So that means that even though she died her children are still alive and have to bare with the loss of their mother.


In conclusion, Sylvia Plath lived a horrendous life and had many poems to reflect on just that. She wrote poetry to let go of her emotions and let free. "Cinderella" by Plath over all could reflect off of her life because she could be jealous of the other beautiful women who have a perfect life and have life easy.

The Clock

There once stood a clock

thin and tall in an

ancient home


The clock was no ordinary

clock that it once

was thought to be

The clock rang so loud it

was like a herd of elephants

running though the house


The clock was a magician ready to

pop out and ring unexpectedly

No one knew why the clock would

ring on such odd times

When I died though--


In that ancient house

the clock rang as I

lied across the floor catching

for one last
Breath