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Sylvia Plath

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Feeling old at 29
Added by: António Costa
Mirror is one of the most appreciated poems of SP. It is very direct, the language is relatively simple and easy to catch, at least in appearance.

I take the poem literally: the poet gives voice to a mirror square or rectangular fixed in the wall of her house. The mirror is truthful, reflects all that he sees, as opposite to the candles or the moon who tell lies. The poet appreciates those qualities so much that she calls him "a little god". In the house lives a woman: The woman looks at the mirror with anxiety as someone who bends over a lake to see his image. The image in the mirror is important for her. Little by little she sees the young girl disappearing ("she has drowned a young girl") and in its place comes and old woman ugly as a fish. Many people find odd that SP could feel to be an old woman at 29 (the poem was written end October 1961): It is a false problem. In the 1st place, SP has the so-called poetic liberty to imagine any kind of woman.

Then, I think that SP at the time was not so happy with her appearance: FROM an American beauty, blond and dressed smartly, she had become an English housewife, heavier and careless - she stopped to dye her hair.

Added by: Ally
I really relate to this poem "mirror". It could very well be slyvia's own feelings, ut it could also be a more generalized message about ones self image. The girl looking INTO the mirror sees herself and is content. She is not truley displeased with her image until she can look deeper inside herself and see ugliness.

I think it is a very good poems for girls everywhere to read because it expresses that even the most beautiful girls can be ugly on the inside
Pretty Good
Added by: Ys
the poem overall was great becasue the meaning in itself is very deep and needs someone of understanding to really appreiciate what it means. Plath uses her words powerfully and also makes you wonder. The meaning of the poem is her seeing herself getting older(more ugly) and also seeing her reflection i a mirror. At the end of the day great poem!
this is my favorite
Added by: ceilingqwithoutastar
I love this one. i also see it as the mother child relationship. I actually just saw it as like a best friend or someone who looks at what you are despite how you turn your back on them. they are always faithful, but i read it to my mom one day and she said it was liek mother/daughter relationships. and i was like WOW..my mom hates poetry too lol
Added by: Katherine
I disagree with Sylvia Plath not being ablt to be old at 29. You are only as old as you feel and as Plath suffered from severe depression I believe she may have felt incredibly old although she was comparitavely young. The terrible fish comment shows Plath's fear of growing even older.
Mirror - Favourite
Added by: Billy Wong
This is my favouirte Poem in the world i'm only 12 i have been studing Sylvia and i have discoverd this poem i have read it some many times i no it off by heart i have read it to the hole of my school and in poetry club.
Added by: sazjo
My mum, who's a midwife came up with this theory on 'Mirror': she said immediately taht the poem was about abortion or miscarriage.
In the first stanza the poet (or the poet adopting the persona of a woman) is pregnant
'I am silver and exact' - refers the the baby inside her.
'pre-conceptions' - the word conception immediatly rings of pregnancy.
'unmisted by love and dislike' - she feels unattatched to the baby, distant.
'four-cornered' - suggests perfection, a perfect square. The baby is perfectly formed.
'I think it is part of my heart' - often on scans baby's heratbeats are confused for teh mothers and vice versa.
'faces and darkness separate us over and over' - sometimes she can envisage the face of the baby but then loses it again. Again she feels distant from her unborn child.
'now I am a lake' - like a pool of blood after a miscarriage or abortion.
' a woman bends over me/searching my reaces for what she really is' - is the woman a nurse, doctor or midwife. If it is about abortion, is the woman wondering what type of person the 'poet' is? a murderer, (perhaps the 'poet' feels like this)?
'she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon' - those who try and make light of it, make her feel better.
'in me she has drowned a young girl and in me an old woman' - she's thinking that the miscarriage/abortion has killed a whole life from a child to an old woman - that person will not exist. Drowned 'in me' suggests someone dying inside the person.
'rises towards her every day, like a terrible fish' - she thinks about it every day, it haunts her for the rest of her life. The terrible fish may be referring to the foetus - which looks a bit like a little fish.

Anyway - i may be reading way too much into this poem but it's just a theory!! If anyone has any opinions on this post back on here please!
The Mirror
Added by: Amanda
Actually I think that the terrible fish comment refers to the fish eye view we get when we see ourselves in the morning. A terrible fish is a person first thing in the morning. As for the Lake she is referring to a sink that is under most bathroom mirrors, she is looking at herself from the outside.The whole in me she has drowned a young girl/old woman represents the passage of time. The same mirror and sink have seen her washing and preparing since she was a young girl to old woman.
Plath's Mirror
Added by: Casey

Sylvia's poetry is so often worded with intense complexity, that Mirror offers the reader a stunning surprise: an indepth and tediously woven work phrased with words of simplicity. The subject matter is equally as stunning. There's so much there to unfold.
poetic elements in "Mirror"
Added by: Drew Hood
Poetic Analysis of “Mirror”

Sylvia Plath uses the poem “Mirror” to show how the way in which people view themselves changes as they age. Two of the literary devices used to convey this are personification and metaphor. The personification of the mirror in the first stanza is used to show how young people will often only look at the superficial features themselves and others. In the second stanza metaphor is used to compare a person to a lake. The person is compared to a lake in the second stanza because as people age they tend to look more inwardly rather than superficially. A lake has depth, unlike a mirror, and people often will look into lakes when they are reflecting inwardly or soul searching.

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