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 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.
- What is the effect of Plath’s choice to write the poem from a mirror’s perspective?
- Why do you think Plath switched the perspective from a mirror to a lake?
- Would this poem read differently if it had been written by a man? What about if a man was visiting the lake?
- How old do you think the woman in the poem is?
- Growing older is scary in this poem. When you think of yourself aging, is it scary like that “terrible fish”?
Draw an object. Write a poem giving your drawing human qualities with personification. Use at least two literary devices and highlight them. Your poem must be at least eight (8) lines long. It does not have to rhyme, but each line must be at least five words or more.