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    Linda Stevens's last comments on poems and poets

    • POEM: Aftermath by Sylvia Plath (7/16/2006 7:33:00 AM)

      I think the poem is about the unwanted attention that was attracted by Plath's abandonment by husband, Ted Hughes. Also, the way human nature attracts us to tragedy. She talks about how people 'loiter and stare as if the house burnt down was theirs'. This could mean that people, friends and family, watch for Plaths response to the abandonment, perhaps expecting her to breakdown. She later says 'moves humbly as any housewife through her ruined apartments, taking stock of charred shoes'. This could be an extended metaphor for how Plath gathers up the peices of her life and continues on without Hughes. 'Medea' in greek mythology is a princess who deceived her father by aiding Jason obtain the golden fleece and then marrying him. They had two children (as did Plath) , but Jason betrays Medea by abandoning her for another princess. Medea seeks revenge by killing the princess, and then her own two children. This story is too likened to Plaths situation...
      then Plath finishes the poem 'the crowd sucks her last tear and turns away'. This could mean that thw people observing her are now no longer concerned, have lost appeal, ready for another juicy scandal.