In "Morning Song," Plath repeatedly uses the figurative device of simile, a comparison using the words like or as. This helps her to describe more vividly the experience of being a mother to a newborn. Some examples can be found in the following lines:
Love set you going like a fat gold watch.
We stand round blankly as walls.
Your mouth opens clean as a cat’s.
The clear vowels [of the baby's voice] rise like balloons.
The similes are startling: for example, in the first one, the speaker sees the new life of her baby as the similar to the ticking of a watch. Both are precious—"gold"—but both are also reminders of time passing.
are comparisons that don't use the words like or as. Plath, for example, compares the baby newly arrived at home to a "New statue." She likens the sounds of the baby in the distance to "A far sea ... in my ear."
Plath also uses alliteration
, which is when words beginning with the same consonant are put in close proximity: examples include "Shadows our safety," "Flickers among the flat," and "window square / Whitens."
The repetition of the same consonant adds a sense of rhythm to a poem and places emphasis on the words beginning with the alliterative letter.
uses any of the five sense to help us witness a scene. An example from the poem is found in the following line:
One cry, and I stumble from bed, cow-heavy and floral
In my Victorian nightgown.
We can hear and see the baby crying and the speaker, still heavy from the recent pregnancy, in her old-fashioned nightgown waking up and getting up sleepily and gracelessly from the bed to tend her baby.
Plath also repeatedly uses enjambment, which is when a sentence continues beyond the end of the line break, such as in the following lines:
your bald cry
Took its place among the elements.