“Mirror” by Sylvia Plath

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 the 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 a 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.


The words are beautiful and crisp :

I am silver and exact.

Later,

Now I am a lake.

”I am silver and exact” is an extremely pretty usage .And very crisp . A similar usage comes later in the poem:

Faces and darkness separate us over and over.

A concrete noun(faces) combined with an abstract noun (darkness) makes for an interesting usage .

The other beautiful images are :”unmisted by love or dislike”(A mirror’s reflection is impaired by mist),”most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall(when there are no faces the mirror reflects the wall during the day and darkness at night),”in me she has drowned a young girl(the lake or the mirror have seen the “death” of the young girl and her transformation into an old woman),”like a terrible fish (old age rises above the reflection in the lake as an ugly fish rises above the waters).

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