Feet to the Stars

Sylvia Plath You're Poetry

One of my favorite Sylvia Plath poems is actually short and sweet. It’s called ”You’re,” and it is basically a silly love poem.

Here are the entire two stanzas of the poem, in case the image above is not clear enough:

Clownlike, happiest on your hands,
Feet to the stars, and moon-skulled,
Gilled like a fish. A common-sense
Thumbs-down on the dodo’s mode.
Wrapped up in yourself like a spool,
Trawling your dark as owls do.
Mute as a turnip from the Fourth
Of July to All Fools’ Day,
O high-riser, my little loaf.
Vague as fog and looked for like mail.
Farther off than Australia.
Bent-backed Atlas, our traveled prawn.
Snug as a bud and at home
Like a sprat in a pickle jug.
A creel of eels, all ripples.
Jumpy as a Mexican bean.
Right, like a well-done sum.
A clean slate, with your own face on.

Among the many things this poem makes me think of are my high school English teachers. I remember how they would make us dissect poems and explain every line, every word.

I would have a difficult time defining exactly what Plath meant by the following:

 …A common sense
Thumbs-down on the dodo’s mode.

But, somehow, within the context of the piece, it is indeed a levelheaded, even heartwarming, phrase.

This post is part of my ongoing collaboration with Zeteo Journal. Please click here to read more. 


  1. Lila

    Thanks for sharing this. Sylvia Plath’s poems are perfect for dissection, and as much as I love doing that, it can get tiring! Sometimes less is more when it comes to analysis, wouldn’t you agree?

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