Poems 19561963

1 Conversation Among the Ruins 21 2 Winter Landscape, with Rooks 21 9 The Queen's Complaint 28 12 Song for a Summer's Day 30 C13 Two Sisters of Persephone 31 16 Tinker Jack and the Tidy Wives 34 20 Soliloquy of the Solipsist 37 21 Dialogue Between Ghost and Priest 38 24 Miss Drake Proceeds to Supper 41 Epitaph for Fire and Flower * 45 Ella Mason and Her Eleven Cats 53 On the Difficulty of Conjuring Up a Dryad 65 The Lady and the Earthenware Head 69 Perseus The Triumph of Wit Over Suffering...

Stars Over the Dordogne

Stars are dropping thick as stones into the twiggy Picket of trees whose silhouette is darker Than the dark of the sky because it is quite starless. The woods are a well. The stars drop silently. They seem large, yet they drop, and no gap is visible. Nor do they send up fires where they fall Or any signal of distress or anxiousness. They are eaten immediately by the pines. Where I am at home, only the sparsest stars Arrive at twilight, and then after some effort. And they are wan, dulled by...

Epitaph for Fire and Flower

To prevent fall, or anchor the fluent air In quartz, as crack your skull to keep These two most perishable lovers from the touch That will kindle angels' envy, scorch and drop Their fond hearts charred as any match. Mouth's instant flare for future looks Stars shoot their petals, and suns run to seed, However you may sweat to hold such darling wrecks Now in the crux of their vows hang your ear, Still as a shell hear what an age of glass These lovers prophesy to lock embrace Secure in museum...

Bitter Strawberries

All that morning in the strawberry field They talked about the Russians. Squatted down between the rows We listened. We heard the head woman say, 'Bomb them off the map.' Horseflies buzzed, paused and stung. And the taste of strawberries Turned thick and sour. Mary said slowly, 'I've got a fella Old enough to go. If anything should happen . . .' The sky was high and blue. Two children laughed at tag In the tall grass, Leaping awkward and long-legged Across the rutted road. The fields were full...

Ella Mason and Her Eleven Cats

Old Ella Mason keeps cats, eleven at last count, In her ramshackle house off Somerset Terrace People make queries On seeing our neighbor's cat-haunt, Saying 'Something's addled in a woman who accommodates That many cats.' Rum and red-faced as a water-melon, her voice Long gone to wheeze and seed, Ella Mason For no good reason Plays hostess to Tabby, Tom and increase, With cream and chicken-gut feasting the palates Of finical cats. Village stories go that in olden days Ella flounced about,...

A complete list of poems composed before 1956

This alphabetical list includes all the poems Sylvia Plath composed before 1956. The texts of all but half a dozen of these early pieces are in the Sylvia Plath Archive of juvenilia in the Lilly Library at Indiana University. The rest are with the Sylvia Plath Estate. The bracketed date following certain titles indicates the year of composition, where it is known. An asterisk before a title indicates that it is included in the selection of fifty early poems printed above, p. 299. Dirge in Three...