Foregrounding Modalities and Manifestations of Rhetorical Representations of Shadows in the Poetry of Sylvia Plath and Louise Glück: A Critique

Document Type : Original Article


Rajendra University, Balangir, India


Shadow has been an invaluable element inciting thought adorning philosophical and literary creations. There are hosts of authors across the world that use shadow with multiple meanings. This includes many connotative, denotative and ambiguous reflections attuned to varieties of emotional outbursts. Shadow has been an archetypal symbol. Coincidentally, shadow is foregrounded in many of the poems of both Sylvia Plath and Louise Glück. Plath deals with the rituals associated with shadow; shadow embroiders her pastoral narratives full of suspense in shadowy chambers. Mystery of shadows in the elevated chambers, shadowy memories and moving objects such as birds abound the poetic testimony. She associates the magic of surrealism with shadow including the mysterious hollow of shadow; the widening blurs of shadow; the shadows left unnoticed; and shadows in hallucination. Similarly, Glück heralds the arrival and departure of seasons with shadow; hills and valleys with the sport of shadow; and the romantic feeling aroused looking at the merger of shadows of children with the shadows of flowers. Shadows get assimilated in darkness and at times help hiding faces from light as an attempt of preclusion. The poet heralds the relationship of shadow with the protracted lights of both the sun and the moon. It is clearly evident from the analysis of the poems of both Plath and Glück that they remain unaffected by the experiments of modernity as well as postmodernity by clinging to the aesthetic value of natural beauty and philosophy of poetic perceptions of the life in their surroundings.