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Mad Girl's Love Song

Sylvia Plath

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Added by: KellyAnn
I don't think that this poem is strictly about love or lovers (real or imaginary). I suppose on one level that it is about these things. But I also think that it contextualizes in a familiar story--namely the story of the girl (at least in this case) who cannot get past her own emotional world to find the true (or real) love, which she seems to feel that she ought to be able to have--the indescribable sense that there is something deep within us that has the capacity to kill our chances to find meaning in love, or in life for that matter. The mad girl in her love song speaks of true loneliness. The kind of loneliness that tends to accompany the disassociative reality that can take over us when we turn further and further inward. I don't know if Sylvia Plath herself was plagued with these feelings, nor do I think that it matters much. However, the general problematic of inwardness is a reoccurring theme in literature, and it seems to apply to all kinds of individuals, whether or not they are tormented artists. This is just one more version of, one more poetic way to express, these deep-seeded feelings of isolation and alienation which can plague us often as human beings. I do agree that it is sad, but life itself can be a sad affair sometimes.
Added by: Wendy
The poem, a villanelle (usually of a neurotic style anyway) was written before her first suicide attempt. In her journals, she cites that the poem was written about Bill, a boy she dated who she felt this way about when he did not call for her. You can really learn a lot about her poetry by reading her journals.
you have to remember she was 18 at the time...
Added by: Raine
so it's not like she was 30 and still making lovers up in her head. She was also relatively sane then--had yet to play Lady Lazurus.

I certainly wouldn't call it 'garbage'... the rhyme pattern alone is marvelously executed, esp. for a villanelle.
The stars go waltzing out in blue and red . . .
Added by: Samuel Biagetti
I think of this as the best villanelle I've read -- for its haunting, beautiful expression of alienation and loss of confidence, mixed with an abiding love more of yourself than of the person who's ditched you. Makes great use of the form's repetition, in the end marching beyond its constraints. And despite its deceptively plain, prosaic style, one should remember that the speaker probably does not literally mean that she made the person up in her head -- it's a poetic expression of their feelings of loss and unreality (and a great one at that, in my opinion).

But as for those who think this poem, because she wrote it before 1953, is FROM when she "had yet to play Lady Lazarus," I'd like to point out that in "Lady Lazarus," Plath says that she was going through the process of death and rebirth practically her whole life, at least since she was ten years old; I think this poem is an illustration of that. And if anyone has a copy of The Bell Jar, it might be very interesting to compare the imagery she uses in the novel to describe her 1953 suicide attempt to the imagery of loss and forgetfulness in this poem.
Added by: Sheila
this is my favorite poem by sylvia...i read it today and i immediately fell in love with it, since it totally pertains to me and what i am going through right now. it's not the kind of poem that i would ANALYZE thoroughly, since words come straight FROM the heart when speaking about love/empty promises (he tells her one thing, but never calls back.) it is a simple poem, but it carries much emotion.
Added by: Sam
i loved this poem. it just...strikes you in the right place. very graphic and expressive. she may have been suicidal or had multiple personalities. who cares? it doesn't make her any less good. i love the poem.
Added by: Sarah
everyone has made such insightful comments- it is amazing to view all the interpretations of a poem- i just wanted to let everyone know the artist fisher made a song of mad girls love song- using the poem as her lyrics- you may be interested to listen to it- i thought it was beautiful
It is how you want to look at it...
Added by: Azureus
Neither one of us that happens to come accross the poem and read it, can actually understand the real meaning... You can look at it in the way that she is talking about a lover; or in the aspect that she is talking about one of her personalities.

I myself believe that it is about one of her personalities; but who am I to put a meaning to this beautifully written poem?

This happens to be one of my favorite Sylvia Plath poems. And I do not believe it it meant to be 'analyzed' so thoroughly.
The message in the poem may be more complex than you can understand...

So just let the poem be...

Added by: Softballplayr21
This poem expresses how everyone, male or female feels at one point or another in their life. It seems true in certian aspects. I love this poem, always have and always will. It describes me personally, and always has. It gives a grim reality to life and relationships... and how the promise of being together may or may not happen. Makes you think about whether or not the other person, the one who is promising, will come back, or is just telling you that to get you to leave them alone...
Added by: Liz
i think everyone is going to interpret this poem in their own way... and our interpretation is always personal. for instance, after reading it, i pictured being in a relationship with someone where you're acting as though its the greatest relationship and the guy is perfect and he is madly in love with you, but deep down you know thats not the truth at all, its a big lie, but for the sake of your happiness you put on a facade... i interpret it that way because thats something i always do in my relationships..... i love you sylvia

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