A Disturbance in Mirrors: The Poetry of Sylvia Plath

A Disturbance in Mirrors: The Poetry of Sylvia Plath

A Disturbance in Mirrors: The Poetry of Sylvia Plath

A Disturbance in Mirrors: The Poetry of Sylvia Plath

Synopsis

"This new, uncluttered study of Sylvia Plath's poetry offers a calculated balance between feminist theory and the old heritage of the New Criticism. The apparent thematic peg here is Plath's fascination with mirrors in her life and in her work. . . . This is a very solid work; it is the most readable of the recent books on Plath, and, among the recent works this reviewer knows of, none is comparable." Choice

Excerpt

I sought my image
in the scorching glass,
for what fire could damage
a witch's face?

"On Looking into the
Eyes of a Demon Lover"

(n.d.)

From the mercury-backed glass
Mother, grandmother, greatgrandmother
Reach hag hands to haul me in,
And an image looms under the fishpond surface
Where the daft father went down
with orange duck-feet winnowing his hair--

"All the Dead Dears" (1957)

Nobody watched me before, now I am watched.
The tulips turn to me, and the window behind me
Where once a day the light slowly widens and slowly thins,
And I see myself, flat, ridiculous, a cut-paper shadow
Between the eye of the sun and the eyes of the tulips,
And I have no face, I have wanted to efface myself.
The vivid tulips eat my oxygen.

"Tulips" (1961)

The heart shuts,
The sea slides back,
The mirrors are sheeted.

"Contusion" (1963) . . .

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