Famous Sad Poem

Sylvia Plath was an American author and poet who lived from 1932-1963. She was a driven person, and she graduated summa cum laude from Smith College in 1955. Despite her success, Plath struggled with depression, and committed suicide in 1963. This poem shows the struggle a woman has with her identity as she grows older and begins to lose her youthfulness. It also uses personification by giving human characteristics to the mirror.

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Mirror

By

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.

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