Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Celebrating Poetry: Mirror by Sylvia Plath

I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.
Whatever I see, I swallow immediately.
Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike
I am not cruel, only truthful –
The eye of a little god, four-cornered.
Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall.
It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long
I think it is a part of my heart. But it flickers.
Faces and darkness separate us over and over.

Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me.
Searching my reaches for what she really is.
Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.
I see her back, and reflect it faithfully
She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands.
I am important to her. She comes and goes.
Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness.
In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman
Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish.

April is National Poetry Month.
Read more about Sylvia Plath here.


  1. Oh, I love Plath. And I love this particular poem.

  2. Oh, wonderful; I haven't read this in a long time. Thanks so much for sharing, JoAnn!

  3. Lovely, but I must admit, I have no idea what it means. I guess I need some more culture.

  4. How lovely to read a poem. I haven't ever read Plath so really enjoyed reading this. Happy Poetry Month to you.

  5. I just LOVE this poem. I read it for my English Lit A-Level and I remember it being the first time I loved a poem straight away. Thanks for posting it and reminding me :)

  6. Amy - Believe it or not, I just read Plath for the first time last weekend. I loved this one!

    DS - Taking baby steps with poetry... just read this for the first time over the weekend and loved it!

    Georgia Girls - Just started reading poetry within the last six months or so. Have to admit it's growing on me!

    Joan Hunter Dunn - This is my first experience with Plath, but she is one of my daughter's favorites. I hope to share a poem each week of April.

    Sam - I read this for the first time over the weekend and LOVED it. So happy to bring back a memory for you!

  7. JoAnn, check out her radio play Three Women. It's breathtaking.

  8. Thanks Amy, I will. It is included in The Collected Poems, but I'll look around and see if if can 'hear' it somewhere, too.

  9. "Mirror" is my favourite of Plath's poems. The woman was a genius. :)

  10. Violet - I was reading through Plath's collected poems (for the first time!) and was just struck by Mirror. I love it! Will definitely be spending more time with her work.

  11. Beautiful poem! It's a shame that I haven't even read The Bell Jar.

  12. A beautiful poem! I studied some of Plath's poetry years ago in an undergrad course and liked it so much that I bought a collection of her poetry. Sadly I haven't read much of it, though. Should.

  13. Matt - I haven't read The Bell Jar, either. My daughter recently purchased a copy, so maybe I can read it when she's finished.

    Trish - This is actually the first Plath I've read, and I loved it! My daughter bought her collected poems at the Borders store closing sale, so I'll definitely be reading more.

  14. Beautiful poem. The only other poem by Plath that I've read is Snake Charmer, but I didn't enjoy that.

  15. anothercookiecrumbles - This is the first I've read of Plath. Amy (above) recommended her radio play Three Women, so I'll be checking that out shortly. Would also like to read her novel The Bell Jar.


Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! Be sure to check back, I always respond. Due to a recent increase in spam, all comments are moderated.


Related Posts with Thumbnails