Critical Essay – You’re


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Clownlike, happiest on your hands,
Feet to the stars, and moon-skulled,
Gilled like a fish. A common-sense
Thumbs-down on the dodo’s mode.
Wrapped up in yourself like a spool,
Trawling your dark as owls do.
Mute as a turnip from the Fourth
Of July to All Fools’ Day,
O high-riser, my little loaf.

Vague as fog and looked for like mail.
Farther off than Australia.
Bent-backed Atlas, our traveled prawn.
Snug as a bud and at home
Like a sprat in a pickle jug.
A creel of eels, all ripples.
Jumpy as a Mexican bean.
Right, like a well-done sum.
A clean slate, with your own face on.

Sylvia Plath

Title – Contraction/present tense/second person

Form and structure

  • Dramatic monologue
  • Free verse
  • Auditor is the baby
  • Nine lines in each stanza
  1. How the speaker’s affection for/ amusement at the baby is shown.
  2. How the speaker’s pride in the baby is revealed.
  3. How the speaker reveals their negative feelings about the pregnancy.
  4. How the position of the child is described.
  5. How the child’s appearance is described.
  6. Physical experience of pregnancy- how this is described.
  7. Final line of the poem.

Each of these could form a paragraph in your critical essay main body.

You need to judge which of the above areas would be most suitable to answer the essay question you have chosen.

Aim to write at between 4 and 6 main body paragraphs.

You’re Essay Walkthrough

National 5 Critical Essay Questions – poetry

You’re NOTES example essays and more

You’re Essay walk through hand out

Questions on you’re to encourage close reading and analysis

powerpoint answers to you’re


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