Sylvia Plaths "Parliament Hill fields", like her other poems, does not bother to present in rhyming couplets expressions and feeling that her readers might easily decipher. The poet uses her powerful vocabulary to sketch myriads of images, as seen by her mind, and leaves the…
However, the imageries that recur several times within the poem are that of light and darkness. The constant struggle between the two in a twilight zone and the ultimate entering of the poet to the "lit house" from the outside darkness. Along with these two, there are also recurring images of struggle between the past and the present. This essay therefore will try to analyze the poem based on the study of such imageries strewn all over.
The poem provides a very powerful image of the victory of light over darkness in a twilight battle. Initially the light of the Sun is gradually seen to be consumed by the darkness of the night. In the first stanza, the sky is imaged as "faceless and pale" minding its own business oblivion of the gradual arrival of darkness. Towards the end of the second stanza, the poet once again plays with the image of flickering light with "The wan/Sun manages to strike such tin glints/ From the linked ponds that my eyes wince/And brims..." (9-12). The word "wan" meaning pale and sickly is put against the "tin glints" with which the Sun is trying hard to resist the darkness. In the fifth stanza the light is gradually shrouded by darkness, "Southward, over Kentish Town, an ashen smudge/Swaddles roof and tree" (21-22). From the sixth stanza onwards, darkness gains strength with recurring words like, "black shadow", "dark-boughed cypresses" and the "blind journey". However, towards the end of the poem, images of light emerge again, as the "moons crook whitens" (38) and the blue hill and night plants in a birthday picture starts to "glow". Suddenly everything seems to "light up" and "exhale[s] an indigo nimbus" (46) as the gulls keep watch on the "half-light" and the poet enters "the lit house" (50).
Apart from the images of light and darkness, the poem also presents images of a struggle between the past and the present. The opening line of the poem, "On this bald hill the new year hones ...
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