Sylvia Plath - The Arrival of the Bee Box
From ZuluNotes - Free Leaving Cert Notes
|Sylvia Plath - The Arrival of the Bee Box|
|On syllabus||2007, 2008|
- I ordered this, clean wood box
- Square as a chair and almost too heavy to lift.
- I would say it was the coffin of a midget
- Or a square baby
- Were there not such a din in it.
- The box is locked, it is dangerous.
- I have to live with it overnight
- And I can't keep away from it.
- There are no windows, so I can't see what is in there.
- There is only a little grid, no exit.
- I put my eye to the grid.
- It is dark, dark,
- With the swarmy feeling of African hands
- Minute and shrunk for export,
- Black on black, angrily clambering.
- How can I let them out?
- It is the noise that appalls me most of all,
- The unintelligible syllables.
- It is like a Roman mob,
- Small, taken one by one, but my god, together!
- I lay my ear to furious Latin.
- I am not a Caesar.
- I have simply ordered a box of maniacs.
- They can be sent back.
- They can die, I need feed them nothing, I am the owner.
- I wonder how hungry they are.
- I wonder if they would forget me
- If I just undid the locks and stood back and turned into a tree.
- There is the laburnum, its blond colonnades,
- And the petticoats of the cherry.
- They might ignore me immediately
- In my moon suit and funeral veil.
- I am no source of honey
- So why should they turn on me?
- Tomorrow I will be sweet God, I will set them free.
- The box is only temporary.
As with any poem, different readers will have different impressions and critisms of the poem. This obviously leads to various analysis. It is encouraged that you read and think about the poem and build a supported arguement on your critisms. This will lead to you knowing the poem better and will help you in your reading of poetry.
The Arrival of the Bee Box is one of a series of "Bee" poems that Sylvia Plath wrote the poem can be read on two levels one on a straight forward descriptive level this makes the poem like a nature poem about bees or it can be read on a metaphorical level.
In the first reading the speaker ordered a bee box on it's arrival she examines it she realises the box is dangerous, because of the bees but is still fancinated with it she wonders how she can let them out the noise appals her she realises she doesn't have to be afraid of the box she ordered it and she can send it back or she can just let the bees die she thinks about it more "I wonder how hungry they are", "why should they turn on me?" she makes a decision to let the bees go free the next day
In the metaphorical reading, the bees represent her thoughts and the box represents suppresion all the lines take on a significantly new meaning "The box is locked, it is dangerous" the speaker's thoughts are locked away she is curious about them though, and cannot stop thinking about them she can't ignore them near the middle of them poem she realises they are her thoughts and she has control over them "They can die, I need feed them nothing, I am the owner". She is in control she talks about flowers, linking herself to other women and suppression of women she finally decides "tomorrow I will be sweet God, I will set them free. The box is only temporary" this is her final decision of the poem, to let her thoughts out and stop the suprresion. she is talking about the objective idea of the women suppression.