mothering are among the most unshielded works Plath wrote. Here she lowers her masks and expresses emotion without excessive drama. In "Magi" (1960), "Child" (1963), and "Balloons" (1963), she shows the strength of her love as well as the depth of her dilemma: How can she go on living without contaminating her children with "the troublous wringing of hands" ("Child" )? These mothering poems show ambivalence as well, but they are much more positive and less mediated than her poems of victimization and revenge.
Plath's three major lifelong themes are death, victimization, and motherhood. At the end of her life, these preoccupations merge into a vision of her own death, despite or because of her love for her children, as a way to resolve conflict. Her poems of brutal self-examination helped open the way for poets, particularly female poets, to use their intimate experiences in their work.
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