'Mirror" by Sylvia Plath + A Writing Prompt
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 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 poem above is by Sylvia Plath. Written with the mirror as the speaker, it gives the essence of great beauty and sadness. We perceive the user from the eyes of the mirror. Giving us only a brief glimpse into who the woman is, we are given enough information to understand what emotional turmoil she may be going through as she sees her own reflection. Plath gives tremendous power to the mirror. “I am not cruel, only truthful” showcases how often people despise what they see in the mirror but it is not something the mirror has control over. I have read this 5 times tonight alone and could analyze each line. Truly a stunning poem.
In my poetry class, we are currently writing a poem from the perspective of an object. The options are limitless: it could be a beautiful view or a disturbing view. It could be a candle or a lightbulb.
Creative prompt: write from the perspective of an inanimate object. Don’t worry about whether or not it has “deep” meaning. The options are limitless: it could be written from a dark and disturbing view or from a light and airy view. It could be a candle or a tunnel. Write prose or poetry. Write in your journal or type it up. Write one sentence or two. Share it in the comments below.
I’m thinking about making a poem + a prompt series. If you’re into the idea, tell me your thoughts here about it.