Elm - Taking on the persona of a yew tree, the poet explores a range of painful emotons.
- "my great tap root", "This is rain now, this is big hush.", "like arsenic" - The tree is personified within the poem as the speaker aligns herself with the yew tree, tapping into the persona's fears. Water/rain brings relief and is soothing and nurturing, like "arsenic", suggesting that there is a comfort in poison or death which the tree offers to bring her. Alternatively, some critics argue that the tree wishes to comfort her.
- "suffered the atrocity of sunsets./Scorched to the root", "must shriek" - Plath's phrasing suggests the the yew has has felt enormous pain, but as a result, it is capable of empathy, offering to biring the "sound of poisons", and recognises the second speakers' madness and suffering in love - "i know the bottom".
- "moon...merciless" - The yew tree has to…
Similar English Literature resources: