The Shrike By Sylvia Plath

The Shrike When night comes black Such royal dreams beckon this man As lift him apart From his earth-wife’s side To wing, sleep-feathered, The singular…

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Prologue To Spring By Sylvia Plath

Prologue To Spring The winter landscape hangs in balance now, Transfixed by glare of blue from gorgon’s eye; The skaters freese within a stone tableau….

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Hardcastle Crags By Sylvia Plath

Hardcastle Crags Flintlike, her feet struck Such a racket of echoes from the steely street, Tacking in moon-blued crooks from the black Stone-built town, that…

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Blue Moles By Sylvia Plath

Blue Moles 1 They’re out of the dark’s ragbag, these two Moles dead in the pebbled rut, Shapeless as flung gloves, a few feet apart…

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Widow By Sylvia Plath

Widow Widow. The word consumes itself —- Body, a sheet of newsprint on the fire Levitating a numb minute in the updraft Over the scalding,…

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The Ghost’s Leavetaking By Sylvia Plath

The Ghost’s Leavetaking Enter the chilly no-man’s land of about Five o’clock in the morning, the no-color void Where the waking head rubbishes out the…

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Natural History By Sylvia Plath

Natural History That lofty monarch, Monarch Mind, Blue-blooded in coarse country reigned; Though he bedded in ermine, gorged on roast, Pure Philosophy his love engrossed:…

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Fable Of The Rhododendron Stealers By Sylvia Plath

Fable Of The Rhododendron Stealers I walked the unwalked garden of rose-beds In the public park; at home felt the want Of a single rose…

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Yadwigha, On A Red Couch, Among Lillies By Sylvia Plath

Yadwigha, On A Red Couch, Among Lillies Yadwigha, the literalists once wondered how you Came to be lying on this baroque couch Upholstered in red…

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Waking In Winter By Sylvia Plath

Waking In Winter I can taste the tin of the sky —- the real tin thing. Winter dawn is the color of metal, The trees…

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Stopped Dead By Sylvia Plath

Stopped Dead A squeal of brakes. Or is it a birth cry? And here we are, hung out over the dead drop Uncle, pants factory…

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Magi By Sylvia Plath

Magi The abstracts hover like dull angels: Nothing so vulgar as a nose or an eye Bossing the ethereal blanks of their face-ovals. Their whiteness…

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Dark House By Sylvia Plath

Dark House This is a dark house, very big. I made it myself, Cell by cell from a quiet corner, Chewing at the grey paper,…

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The Manor Garden By Sylvia Plath

The Manor Garden The fountains are dry and the roses over. Incense of death. Your day approaches. The pears fatten like little buddhas. A blue…

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Private Ground By Sylvia Plath

Private Ground First frost, and I walk among the rose-fruit, the marble toes Of the Greek beauties you brought Off Europe’s relic heap To sweeten…

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Heavy Woman By Sylvia Plath

Heavy Woman Irrefutable, beautifully smug As Venus, pedestalled on a half-shell Shawled in blond hair and the salt Scrim of a sea breeze, the women…

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Black Pine Tree In An Orange Light By Sylvia Plath

Black Pine Tree In An Orange Light Tell me what you see in it : The pine tree like a Rorschach-blot black against the orange…

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Words Heard, By Accident, Over The Phone By Sylvia Plath

Words Heard, By Accident, Over The Phone O mud, mud, how fluid! —- Thick as foreign coffee, and with a sluggy pulse. Speak, speak! Who…

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The Detective By Sylvia Plath

The Detective What was she doing when it blew in Over the seven hills, the red furrow, the blue mountain? Was she arranging cups? It…

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Notes To A Neophyte By Sylvia Plath

Notes To A Neophyte Take the general mumble, blunt as the faceless gut of an anonymous clam, vernacular as the strut of a slug or…

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Face Lift By Sylvia Plath

Face Lift You bring me good news from the clinic, Whipping off your silk scarf, exhibiting the tight white Mummy-cloths, smiling: I’m all right. When…

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The Tour By Sylvia Plath

The Tour O maiden aunt, you have come to call. Do step into the hall! With your bold Gecko, the little flick! All cogs, weird…

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Suicide Off Egg Rock By Sylvia Plath

Suicide Off Egg Rock Behind him the hotdogs split and drizzled On the public grills, and the ochreous salt flats, Gas tanks, factory stacks- that…

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Magnolia Shoals By Sylvia Plath

Magnolia Shoals Up here among the gull cries we stroll through a maze of pale red-mottled relics, shells, claws as if it were summer still….

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Circus In Three Rings By Sylvia Plath

Circus in Three Rings In the circus tent of a hurricane designed by a drunken god my extravagant heart blows up again in a rampage…

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The Net-Menders By Sylvia Plath

The Net-Menders Halfway up from the little harbor of sardine boats, Halfway down from groves where the thin, bitter almond pips Fatten in green-pocked pods,…

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Point Shirley By Sylvia Plath

Point Shirley From Water-Tower Hill to the brick prison The shingle booms, bickering under The sea’s collapse. Snowcakes break and welter. This year The gritted…

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Gulliver By Sylvia Plath

Gulliver Over your body the clouds go High, high and icily And a little flat, as if they Floated on a glass that was invisible….

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Battle-Scene From The Comic Operatic Fantasy The Seafarer By Sylvia Plath

Battle-Scene From The Comic Operatic Fantasy The Seafarer It beguiles— This little Odyssey In pink and lavender Over a surface of gently- Graded turquoise tiles…

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Witch Burning By Sylvia Plath

Witch Burning In the marketplace they are piling the dry sticks. A thicket of shadows is a poor coat. I inhabit The wax image of…

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The Courage Of Shutting-Up By Sylvia Plath

The Courage Of Shutting-Up The courage of the shut mouth, in spite of artillery! The line pink and quiet, a worm, basking. There are black…

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Mussel Hunter At Rock Harbor By Sylvia Plath

Mussel Hunter At Rock Harbor I came before the water —- Colorists came to get the Good of the Cape light that scours Sand grit…

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Family Reunion By Sylvia Plath

Family Reunion Outside in the street I hear A car door slam; voices coming near; Incoherent scraps of talk And high heels clicking up the…

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The Times Are Tidy By Sylvia Plath

The Times Are Tidy Unlucky the hero born In this province of the stuck record Where the most watchful cooks go jobless And the mayor’s…

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Stars Over The Dordogne By Sylvia Plath

Stars Over The Dordogne Stars are dropping thick as stones into the twiggy Picket of trees whose silhouette is darker Than the dark of the…

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Maenad By Sylvia Plath

Maenad Once I was ordinary: Sat by my father’s bean tree Eating the fingers of wisdom. The birds made milk. When it thundered I hid…

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Child’s Park Stones By Sylvia Plath

Child’s Park Stones In sunless air, under pines Green to the point of blackness, some Founding father set these lobed, warped stones To loom in…

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The Lady And The Earthenware Head By Sylvia Plath

The Lady And The Earthenware Head Fired in sanguine clay, the model head Fit nowhere: brickdust-complected, eye under a dense lid, On the long bookshelf…

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Parliament Hill Fields By Sylvia Plath

Parliament Hill Fields On this bald hill the new year hones its edge. Faceless and pale as china The round sky goes on minding its…

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Green Rock, Winthrop Bay By Sylvia Plath

Green Rock, Winthrop Bay No lame excuses can gloss over Barge-tar clotted at the tide-line, the wrecked pier. I should have known better. Fifteen years…

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Aquatic Nocturne By Sylvia Plath

Aquatic Nocturne deep in liquid turquoise slivers of dilute light quiver in thin streaks of bright tinfoil on mobile jet: pale flounder waver by tilting…

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Watercolor Of Grantchester Meadows By Sylvia Plath

Watercolor Of Grantchester Meadows There, spring lambs jam the sheepfold. In air Stilled, silvered as water in a glass Nothing is big or far. The…

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The Death Of Myth-Making By Sylvia Plath

The Death Of Myth-Making Two virtues ride, by stallion, by nag, To grind our knives and scissors: Lantern-jawed Reason, squat Common Sense, One courting doctors…

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Moonrise By Sylvia Plath

Moonrise Grub-white mulberries redden among leaves. I’ll go out and sit in white like they do, Doing nothing. July’s juice rounds their nubs. This park…

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Event By Sylvia Plath

Event How the elements solidify! —- The moonlight, that chalk cliff In whose rift we lie Back to back. I hear an owl cry From…

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The Surgeon At 2 A.M. By Sylvia Plath

The Surgeon At 2 A.M. The white light is artificial, and hygienic as heaven. The microbes cannot survive it. They are departing in their transparent…

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Spider By Sylvia Plath

Spider Anansi, black busybody of the folktales, You scuttle out on impulse Blunt in self-interest As a sledge hammer, as a man’s bunched fist, Yet…

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Love Is A Parallax By Sylvia Plath

Love Is A Parallax ‘Perspective betrays with its dichotomy: train tracks always meet, not here, but only in the impossible mind’s eye; horizons beat a…

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Crystal Gazer By Sylvia Plath

Crystal Gazer Gerd sits spindle-shaped in her dark tent, Lean face gone tawn with seasons , Skin worn down to the knucklebones At her tough…

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The Jailer By Sylvia Plath

The Jailer My night sweats grease his breakfast plate. The same placard of blue fog is wheeled into position With the same trees and headstones….

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Owl By Sylvia Plath

Owl Clocks belled twelve. Main street showed otherwise Than its suburb of woods : nimbus—- Lit, but unpeopled, held its windows Of wedding pastries, Diamond…

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Gold Mouths Cry By Sylvia Plath

Gold Mouths Cry Gold mouths cry with the green young certainty of the bronze boy remembering a thousand autumns and how a hundred thousand leaves…

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Alicante Lullaby By Sylvia Plath

Alicante Lullaby In Alicante they bowl the barrels Bumblingly over the nubs of the cobbles Past the yellow-paella eateries, Below the ramshackle back-alley balconies, While…

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Whitsun By Sylvia Plath

Whitsun This is not what I meant: Stucco arches, the banked rocks sunning in rows, Bald eyes or petrified eggs, Grownups coffined in stockings and…

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The Everlasting Monday By Sylvia Plath

The Everlasting Monday Thou shalt have an everlasting Monday and stand in the moon. The moon’s man stands in his shell, Bent under a bundle…

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Memoirs Of A Spinach-Picker By Sylvia Plath

Memoirs Of A Spinach-Picker They called the place Lookout Farm. Back then, the sun Didn’t go down in such a hurry. How it Lit things,…

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Eavesdropper By Sylvia Plath

Eavesdropper Your brother will trim my hedges! They darken your house, Nosy grower, Mole on my shoulder, To be scratched absently, To bleed, if it…

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The Stones By Sylvia Plath

The Stones This is the city where men are mended. I lie on a great anvil. The flat blue sky-circle Flew off like the hat…

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Sonnet – To Eva By Sylvia Plath

Sonnet – To Eva All right, let’s say you could take a skull and break it The way you’d crack a clock; you’d crush the…

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Little Fugue By Sylvia Plath

Little Fugue The yew’s black fingers wag: Cold clouds go over. So the deaf and dumb Signal the blind, and are ignored. I like black…

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