Metaphors Questions and Answers
by Sylvia Plath

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Identify the poetic devices in Sylvia Plath's poem "Metaphors."

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Sylvia Plath's poem "Metaphors" is full of imagery and poetic devices. One of the first things you see is the immediate use of metaphor, as the speaker refers to herself as "a riddle," "an elephant," and more.

The entire poem is metaphorical, not using a single straightforward line in its entirety but choosing instead to employ various metaphors throughout. The speaker is discussing her pregnancy, and she makes it clear through her imagery that she is full to the bursting and that she feels like a bearer only. Her imagery shows her in various states bearing a child—acting as a house, a purse full of money, and simply "a means." She ends the poem with a final metaphor, stating that she has boarded a train and can't turn back now—implying that she's pregnant and now must carry out the act of becoming a mother.

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In the poem "Metaphors," Sylvia Plath writes a witty poem about pregnancy in the form of a riddle.  The poem itself begins with the riddle:  

"I'm a riddle in nine syllables."

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