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.

please note: photo by elsief1


  1. What a perfect poem of those first few hours and days.... It bought so many of the miriad of hormone driven emotions back.. life suddenly becomes stupendously meaningful and beautiful and in the same breath, stupendously terrifying and cavernous... good old Sylvia!

  2. Sylvia found the words that escaped me...

    thanks for reminding me of her

  3. Ah...reflections after a visit with CollegeGrrrl. Welcome back. I missed such lovely words.

  4. One of my favorites. Thank you.

  5. Pretty roses. Where do you find all of these poems?

  6. Cow heavy....
    and Floral...
    wish I didn't understand that so well.

  7. Distracted, I hadn't remembered this tenderness from Plath - though there is a bit of distance too - but then, newborns do seem sometimes like alien beings in our sleep-deprived state. Nice counterpoint with the photo and the doubling up of roses in the poem. I wonder sometimes where you go to find these - you must have a sense of what you like and where it is, and/or a real talent for serendipity. I greatly appreciate it!

  8. You could have been a magazine photo editor, you know? But, no, you had to go about saving lives. Some people . . .~;^P

    Love "cow heavy" . . . not lactating, but certainly feeling girth around the middle!

  9. Oh, my very favorite Plath poem! What a delight! Thanks!

  10. Great poem! People seem to enjoy that "cow-heavy!" Imagery, imagery. Keep it up!

  11. Just to add... have posted you a lovely blog award if you're still accepting them.. :-)

  12. I don't think I've read much of Sylvia Plath before. Not sure why, but this one I felt after leaving our CollegeGrrrl behind and, of course, it seems like yesterday when she would wake in the mornings and sing to herself in her crib.
    And who can resist "cow-heavy?" That captures the feeling perfectly.


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