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"Lady Lazarus"

annotation of poem

Lindsay Lyon

on 13 November 2012

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Transcript of "Lady Lazarus"

"Lady Lazarus" Sylvia Plath I have done it again.
One year in every ten
I manage it-- Peel off the napkin
O my enemy.
Do I terrify?--

The nose, the eye pits, the full set of teeth?
The sour breath
Will vanish in a day.

Soon, soon the flesh
The grave cave ate will be
At home on me And I a smiling woman.
I am only thirty.
And like the cat I have nine times to die.

This is Number Three.
What a trash
To annihilate each decade. anaphora--repetition of words/phrases her death/resurrection
is a show And there is a charge, a very large charge
For a word or a touch
Or a bit of blood

Or a piece of my hair or my clothes.
So, so, Herr Doktor.
So, Herr Enemy.

I am your opus,
I am your valuable,
The pure gold baby

That melts to a shriek.
I turn and burn.
Do not think I underestimate your great concern. A sort of walking miracle, my skin
Bright as a Nazi lampshade,
My right foot Giving an order simile What a million filaments.
The peanut-crunching crowd
Shoves in to see

Them unwrap me hand and foot--
The big strip tease.
Gentlemen, ladies

These are my hands
My knees.
I may be skin and bone,

Nevertheless, I am the same, identical woman.
The first time it happened I was ten.
It was an accident. The second time I meant
To last it out and not come back at all.
I rocked shut

As a seashell.
They had to call and call
And pick the worms off me like sticky pearls.

Is an art, like everything else.
I do it exceptionally well.

I do it so it feels like hell.
I do it so it feels real.
I guess you could say I've a call. It's easy enough to do it in a cell.
It's easy enough to do it and stay put.
It's the theatrical

Comeback in broad day
To the same place, the same face, the same brute
Amused shout:

'A miracle!'
That knocks me out.
There is a charge

For the eyeing of my scars, there is a charge
For the hearing of my heart--
It really goes. 1 2 the "I"--the speaker (Lady Lazarus) Done what? A paperweight,
My face a featureless, fine
Jew linen. 3 alliteration assonance Imagery--contrasting white/celestial images with the deathly/corpse-like
Nazi/Jewish references end rhyme internal rhyme 4 5 6 ghostly, grostesque,
imagery anaphora--creates intensity
in rhythm consonance end rhyme suicide attempt Diction: "smiling" and comparison to the cat suggests a playfulness that contradicts with theme of suicide/death sound device--assonance with the long "i" sound 7 8 Biblical Allusion 9 10 11 12 enjambment end stopping unwrapped like Lazarus consonance enjambment anaphora metaphor simile 13 14 15 16 simile simile 17 18 19 20 back to the Biblical allusion 21 22 23 24 Diction: A creative work, especially a musical composition numbered to designate the order of a composer's works metaphors allusions to Nazi Germany Nazi Germany incinerators Ash, ash--
You poke and stir.
Flesh, bone, there is nothing there--

A cake of soap,
A wedding ring,
A gold filling.

Herr God, Herr Lucifer

Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair
And I eat men like air. 25 26 27 28 syntax--fragments mocking? cononance with "r" sound Examine the syntax 3 line stanzas =
tercets simile and metaphors--comparing herself to a lampshade/a paperweight, a Jew line enjambment The speaker's age IRONY: doesn't the cat have 9 lives, not deaths? to show her face? apostrophe: address to the audience now she is a spectacle,
as if she is the main event at a circus more information about "it" (like a flashback) slant rhyme (an almost rhyme) slant rhyme: "hair" and "Herr" irony: Naxis were not concerned allusion to the mythical
phoenix Whoa! What could this mean? could be an allusion to Coleridge's "Kubla Khan":
http://www.online-literature.com/coleridge/640/ slant rhyme Diction associated with a wedding (contrasted with actual meaning and reference to the Holocause) Extended Metaphors:

1. the Holocaust,
2. the Circus,
3. the resurrection of Lazarus
from the Bible
Full transcript