Sylvia Plath
Mirror (c. 1962)


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 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.