Morning Song

by Sylvia Plath
Love set you going like a fat gold watch.
The midwife slapped your footsoles, and your bald cry
Took its place among the elements.
Our voices echo, magnifying your arrival. New statue.
In a drafty museum, your nakedness
Shadows our safety. We stand round blankly as walls.
I’m no more your mother
Than the cloud that distills a mirror to reflect its own slow
Effacement at the wind’s hand.
All night your moth-breath
Flickers among the flat pink roses. I wake to listen:
A far sea moves in my ear.
One cry, and I stumble from bed, cow-heavy and floral
In my Victorian nightgown.
Your mouth opens clean as a cat’s. The window square
Whitens and swallows its dull stars. And now you try
Your handful of notes;
The clear vowels rise like balloons

8 Responses

  • I was a member of a poetry group for almost 20 years and made some lifelong friends, many of them teach college literature and a couple of them are published. Man, we had fun and some great parties, too. We read a lot of Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton among many,many others – but I always connect these two women…wow..tragic. But, they were such WRITERS. Their work is just chilling to read. Thanks for posting this great Sylvia Plath poem.

    • I read S. Plath’s diary right after high school and was blown away by even just her own personal, casual writings there. She floors me. And Sexton too.

      So cool about the poetry group. You need to write a post about those days and send it to me to share here! 😀

  • I love the line “one cry, and I stumble from bed, cow-heavy and floral in my Victorian nightgown” I remember loving that the first time I read it. Thank you for posting.

  • Thank you for posting this. Reminds us, in this day of constant baby gadgets, products, brands, etc…, just how pure and simple motherhood truly is. As I read, I’m reminded of all of the women who have done this before me, and while so much else has changed around us, birthing, caring for, and loving a brand new baby remains a constant and something that connects us.

  • This is so exact. I can taste my new babies’ smells in the line about hearing the “far sea”. Love Plath. I rewrote “Mushrooms” in a college poetry class and made the subject “diets” instead. She has a special place with me.

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