“I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,
And arbitrary blackness gallops in:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

God topples from the sky, hell’s fires fade:
Exit seraphim and Satan’s men:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I fancied you’d return the way you said,
But I grow old and I forget your name.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

I should have loved a thunderbird instead;
At least when spring comes they roar back again.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)”

Analysis, meaning and summary of Sylvia Plath's poem Mad Girl’s Love Song

74 Comments

  1. Melissa says:

    I don’t agree with the comments about this being only a love poem. I think the beauty of Plath’s poetry is her ability to include a deeper meaning and for me, this poem seems like a haunting plea to the author about her inability to cope with the world’s restrictions and so her descent into insanity, the reference to god falling and the fires of hell fading, emphasises that there is nothing in life, even religion to help stabilise her and that for her the world has become an empty black place full of uncertainty and devoid of love.

  2. jordan says:

    the first time i read the Bell Jar i fell in love with her amazing work. Since then ive read the book over and over again and Mad Girl’s Love Song is my first poem ive read by her and its also my favorite. right now in high school i have to do a project on her and im really excited

  3. Meghan says:

    i don’t think this is a beautiful love poem at all. i think she is depressed because her lover has left, and she is watching her world fall into chaos. she can’t tell the difference between her dreams and reality, and any trust she may have had in religion is gone. Without religion or a man to rule things, she’s left to herself, which makes her feel paranoid. it’s tragic.

  4. danaidha says:

    this poem …touched my soul within and made me feel like i’ve lived in vain till now….

  5. Andrea says:

    I read the Bell Jar, loved it, and needed more of Sylvia Plath. When I read this one, I feel instantly in love with it, because to me it seems of a perfect man and wondering if its true. It is hanging in my locker, and will go with me everywhere in life.

  6. Rachel says:

    I love this poem. I love how instead of writing a “mushy” love poem, she added sort of a twist. Don’t get me wrong, I love “mushy” love poems every now and then. I just love this poem, and I love Sylvia Plath. She’s just below Edgar Allen Poe on my list.

  7. rian says:

    I think she writes poems on her feelings.But i like them alot!!

  8. Bruna says:

    I read this poem and I find it wonderful! I did not know Plath but she is for sure wonderful!!!

  9. becky says:

    i just LOOOVE this poem.
    does anyone know if there is a book that has this poem in it? and if so, can you please tell me the title of the book?

  10. Ryan says:

    This poem is astounding. It makes you really think..

  11. Kari says:

    yes this is tragic but also it is beautiful… love doesnt have to be perfect.. love is insainty …

  12. fierceflames says:

    mad girl’s love song published in a book called Writing on the Water by Jane Slavin. on Ebay siennascloset is selling them. It’s a fabulous book. Read it in a day and a night.

  13. Sinead says:

    the line “i think i made you up inside my head” really makes allot of sense. my understanding of that is, perhaps she was in love with the idea of some one, they were ultimately a facade, and they dissappointed her in the end. she shows an insane amount of relevance to todays socity of women, for a woman of the 50’s.

  14. Addie says:

    Don’t you think that the title, “Mad Girl’s Love Song” could have two different meanings? Mad- angry and mad- crazy. Hmm. Thanks for that info Sucheta, it really made me think!

  15. Becca says:

    the first few lines of this peom are so beautiful, i cried the second i read them for the first time.
    i think she was a beautiful mind and a great voice for those who are depressed in a world where depression is carried such a stigma.

  16. Molly says:

    Its not neccisarially about the first love, just how it feels when one first falls in love with someone else. You wonder if it can be true, and question constantly if this is real. This poem, I belive, focuses more on unrequited love since she talks of the way he didn’t return, and didn’t do as she had hoped. I like the poem, and although not my favorite work of hers, its very very well done and probably the best is terms of style out of all her work.

  17. Lamar Cole says:

    A first love always remains in a secret place in the heart.

  18. Julie says:

    Regardless of whether one can relate to the poem or not, regardless of whether someone likes the theme or content of the poem, one thing all reader’s must be able to agree on is the beauty of the structure of this poem. A villanelle is not an easy form to write, but Sylvia Plath executed it greatly. Also, the lines she chose to repeat in her villanelle make it an excellent poem, even sticking true to the first form of the lines, including the parenthesis. The parenthesis also say something about her meaning, in my opinion.

  19. amberly says:

    this is the first poem i ever read by sylvia plath and i just fell in love.i had to hear more, which is why i’m here, at this page.

  20. becky says:

    This poem is extremly touching… i do believe its about love but has nothing to do with Ted hughes do to the simple fact that she had not met Ted when she wrote this poem. its about her dreams and fears of love… but can verywell still be interpreted as her feelings with ted later on even though it was written a good two years before meeting him.

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