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. 

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2 thoughts on “Feet to the Stars

  1. 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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