Edge

By Sylvia Plath 1932–1963 Sylvia Plath
The woman is perfected.   
Her dead

Body wears the smile of accomplishment,   
The illusion of a Greek necessity

Flows in the scrolls of her toga,   
Her bare

Feet seem to be saying:
We have come so far, it is over.

Each dead child coiled, a white serpent,   
One at each little

Pitcher of milk, now empty.   
She has folded

Them back into her body as petals   
Of a rose close when the garden

Stiffens and odors bleed
From the sweet, deep throats of the night flower.

The moon has nothing to be sad about,   
Staring from her hood of bone.

She is used to this sort of thing.
Her blacks crackle and drag.

Sylvia Plath, “Edge” from Collected Poems. Copyright © 1960, 1965, 1971, 1981 by the Estate of Sylvia Plath. Editorial matter copyright © 1981 by Ted Hughes. Used by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

Source: Collected Poems (HarperCollins Publishers Inc, 1992)

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Poet Sylvia Plath 1932–1963

SCHOOL / PERIOD Confessional

Subjects Living, Horror, Death, Mythology & Folklore

Poetic Terms Confessional

 Sylvia  Plath

Biography

Sylvia Plath was one of the most dynamic and admired poets of the twentieth century. By the time she took her life at the age of thirty, Plath already had a following in the literary community. In the ensuing years her work attracted the attention of a multitude of readers, who saw in her singular verse an attempt to catalogue despair, violent emotion, and obsession with death. In the New York Times Book Review, Joyce Carol . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Horror, Death, Mythology & Folklore

SCHOOL / PERIOD Confessional

Poetic Terms Confessional

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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