Berck-Plage. Useful paper on EBSCO (Literary Reference Centre): “Death and Rebirth in Sylvia Plath’s ‘ Berck-Plage ’ Folsom, Jack. Journal of Modern Literature, Spring91, Vol. 17. Issue 4, page 521, 15p. (also posted to website via a link). Background.
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Useful paper on EBSCO (Literary Reference Centre): “Death and Rebirth in Sylvia Plath’s ‘Berck-Plage’ Folsom, Jack. Journal of Modern Literature, Spring91, Vol. 17. Issue 4, page 521, 15p. (also posted to website via a link)
The poem combines two experiences in Plath’s life. Firstly, a visit to Berck-Plage on the northern coast of France, and secondly, a year later, the death of a neighbour (Percy Key) which Plath found upsetting and disturbing.
She began writing this poem immediately after Key’s death in 1962. Her son, Nicholas, was born as Keys entered the final stages of decline, and a section about a baby was deleted from an earlier draft of the poem.
The blackness of the priest contrasts with the colours of the earth and the funeral flowers.
Find examples and highlight them in your text.
…why should I walk
Beyond the breakwater, spotty with barnacles?
I am not a nurse, white and attendant,
I am not a smile.
Then the poem moves to the description of Percy Keys. This happens with the line
An old man is vanishing
-eye stones, yellow and valuable
Oce cream: http://www.icanhasinternets.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Ice-Cream-Cones.jpg