Surrealism is a literary and artistic movement that emerged in the early 20th century. The movement is characterized by its exploration of the irrational, dreamlike, and subconscious aspects of human experience. Surrealist works often feature bizarre and unexpected juxtapositions, dream imagery, and a rejection of traditional reality in favour of the incredible and the absurd.
While not typically associated with the Surrealist movement, Sylvia Plath contained some Surrealism elements in her poetry. Plath is best known for her confessional poetry. Her poems delve into her experiences, struggles, and emotions. However, within this confessional framework, she often employed surrealistic imagery and techniques to convey the complexity of her inner world.
One of the most notable examples of Plath’s use of surrealism is in her poem “Lady Lazarus.” In this poem, she uses vivid and incredible imagery to portray the theme of death and rebirth. She draws on surreal and monstrous elements to convey her emotional turmoil. “Crossing the Water” is another example of Plath’s surrealism. In this poem, Plath creates a surreal atmosphere where “two black” “cut-paper” people cross a black lake and become blank to see the stars among the lilies.
Plath’s vivid and often incredible imagery allows readers to look into the depths of her inner turmoil and adds a unique measurement to her confessional and emotionally set writing.