My thoughts are crabbed and sallow,
My tears like vinegar,
Or the bitter blinking yellow
Of an acetic star.

Tonight the caustic wind, love,
Gossips late and soon,
And I wear the wry-faced pucker of
The sour lemon moon.

While like an early summer plum,
Puny, green, and tart,
Droops upon its wizened stem
My lean, unripened heart.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Sylvia Plath's poem Jilted


  1. joe says:

    what was the theme?

  2. ana arif says:

    This poem seems to me a specimen of pessimism and dejectedness. Plath had never had a proper or a beautiful relation either with her father or later on with her husband. This poem actually stands for the same state of Plath.

  3. brian says:

    good use of metaphore; I could visualize her pain.

  4. MIA PRICE says:


  5. Emile Moelich says:

    There is a oneness of tone and structure in this poem. A perfect poem, I would say.

  6. Michael says:

    I really like this poem even if it talks about sorrow and her suffering but i think she is a really good poet and i sometimes wish i could write like her and i wish that some people could see like me!

  7. Elizabeth says:

    I was researching this poem, I came upon it hoping to find an analysis of text, and instead I found a bitter response to a boasting comment.

    And yes, you are boasting. All you said was “I’ve written better” and you provided no evidence as to why you think that way although you’ve given us plenty of ethos.

    A monkey could earn a PhD.
    A monkey could also call a poem ‘neat’
    A monkey could also probably write a book.

    How, then, do I know that you’re no monkey?

    Alexandra- thank you for providing me with an analysis of this text.

  8. Shada says:

    Oh dear. I’m ever so sorry to hear that Plath has a disorder and/or a characteristic flaw. You’ve been so helpful. I mean, it isn’t as if I already knew that she suffered from severe depression. When *I* think of Plath, the words “carefree,” “optimistic,” and “exuberant” always spring to mind.

    C’mon, Mr. Ph.D of Egypt. Did you really come here to bash Plath? I don’t see the point, when you have gone to such great lengths to muffle your attack with ego-centric verbiage. Oh, I’d love to read these supposedly “better” poems of yours. I’m sure they’re the cat’s meow.

    This particular poem may be lacking in substance, but its imagery is stunning. The “crabbed and yellow” thoughts and the lemon moon’s “wry-faced pucker” depict such a vivid scene. And Sylvia Plath, as always, manages to thread words so seamlessly into a marvelous finished product.

  9. Prof. S. W. Freemonte, MDS, Ph.D says:

    Neat little poem. I’ve written better on the 2c pages of my book in my spare time, however.
    Don’t think I’m boasting. I did not mean to be offensive to anyone, namely the author, alive or dead that she is.
    I must say that it is most impressive to someone with no linguistical training but I saw, upon eye and paper contact, that in these passages in which the poem is relayed, several betrayals of a certain character flaw which I have seen many a time in my students, that flaw I dare not mention here, as it is more of a disorder than a characteristic flaw.
    Considering All Due Respects,
    Professor S. W. Freemonte, MDS, Ph.D

  10. Alexandra says:

    Love has betrayed this poet.
    Her thoughts are focused on the possibility of doom, and her tears are filled with so much emotion, they burn.
    Love once her friend, has turned like the wind and now fills her with wonder to her fate. She physically shows her discomfort.
    Yet despite all, her heart is still young and fresh, and will have the opportunity to overcome one day.


    The poetess is spending a bad-tempered night. She is in a really bad mood! All the surrounding things are sour and acetic. Her wormy thoughtful thoughts are bitterer and sallower than the most rotten wine colour. Her crabbed thoughts are pouring out tears of reddish blood.The wind, too, is against her:it goes on blowing caustically throughtout the long unslept night till dawn. The long restless night has deepened and dug the pucker on her sour-moon-like-face.Now she is leaning and bending over her young heart like an early green summer sour plum drooping from its weak delicate stem!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Do you have any comments, criticism, paraphrasis or analysis of this poem that you feel would assist other visitors in understanding the meaning or the theme of this poem by Sylvia Plath better? If accepted, your analysis will be added to this page of American Poems. Together we can build a wealth of information, but it will take some discipline and determination.