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Author Topic: Tarot and Poetry Analysis  (Read 6709 times)
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« Reply #4: November 27, 2007, 10:17:43 am »

I don't have her analysis in front of me, but I definitely know that she gave the role of the empress to Plath. 

I have trouble seeing this, not just in the poem but also in her entire poetic corpus. The Empress is a card of fertility, motherhood, joy, etc. right? The speaker in 'The Bee Meeting' is clearly kinda traumatized and a victim of a sort, so I don't see the link. As for the rest of her poems, you have ones about infertility ("Barren Woman", "Childless Woman", maybe "Thalidomide"), and even the ones about children ("Child", "Mary's Song", "Brasilia", etc.) tend to convey a sense of fear and impending loss. I'd be interested in seeing her analysis if you have it (and can share it), but as it is I think you're right in being doubtful about a tarot connection.

The same person also saw electroshock therapy in the Bee Meeting, which I didn't see AT ALL.

Hmmm. You've probably read that the "shorn grove" (perhaps alluding to shaving before an operation), reference to "ether", "white shop smock", "surgeon" and "operation" have been used to give a very medical atmosphere to the whole thing. Electroshock therapy though...

Thinking aloud...well, the speaker does identify a little with the queen, and by extension the hive. Honeycomb = brain cells? The "cuffs" could be electroshock restraints. The "smoke" suggests burning, and if the hive is burning and the hive is a "mind" then it could be electroshock therapy...

I guess I can see it, but only through a lot of associative stretching. But the bee sequence which this poem belongs to (The Arrival of the Bee Box, Stings, The Swarm, and Wintering) has a clear plot of the woman undergoing apotheosis and supplanting the male, so in that context I wouldn't emphasize the electroshock therapy thing too much. But heck, it's a cool interpretation which I'd never have seen in the text!

'Whatever such a mind sees is a flower, and whatever such a mind dreams of is the moon.' - Basho

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