Never Try To Trick Me With A Kiss

Never try to trick me with a kiss
Pretending that the birds are here to stay;
The dying man will scoff and scorn at this.

A stone can masquerade where no heart is
And virgins rise where lustful Venus lay:
Never try to trick me with a kiss.

Our noble doctor claims the pain is his,
While stricken patients let him have his say;
The dying man will scoff and scorn at this.

Each virile bachelor dreads paralysis,
The old maid in the gable cries all day:
Never try to trick me with a kiss.

The suave eternal serpents promise bliss
To mortal children longing to be gay;
The dying man will scoff and scorn at this.

Sooner or later something goes amiss;
The singing birds pack up and fly away;
So never try to trick me with a kiss:
The dying man will scoff and scorn at this.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Sylvia Plath's poem Never Try To Trick Me With A Kiss


  1. Josefa T. Cañete says:

    In my own interpretation, this poem is like do not try to fool me with your flowery words, or appreciation, because I know what you want from me. I know what you are. It’s like telling us to never let anyone use you.

  2. Me says:

    its quite clearly about a doctor scamming people

  3. Becky says:

    She knows his heart is cold, fake, and that his love is dying (dead). She cannot be fooled. She knows his game.

  4. Kristina says:

    I interpret this poem as thoughts about a love that is unfulfilled, or just a pretend.
    “never try to trick me with a kiss” means to me that the kisser is covering up something, maybe something he has done and does not wish to share, maybe the kiss is to silence a discussion or conversation the kisser does not wish to have or he pretends that everything is o.k. – while it really is not.
    The dying man” I interpret is the person that is being kissed – and he knows that he is dying and can see the truth behind the pretend. “The stone” is a cold heart that does not love and ‘the virgin rise” is the innocent person rising above and knowing that “the lustful Venus” is lurking and trying to seduce the beloved – the beloved that covers up the truth with a kiss.
    “our noble doctor” may be the surrounding world and life that claims to have seen enough pain and heartache, and the people watch and ‘let him have his say’, but know and experience the true pain and loss (as the dying man).
    “Each virile bachelor” I interpret as the player of life who is afraid to stand still and realize life’s true meaning, but instead just keeps on going and going to cover up sorrow and pain. While “the old maid” is someone that can no longer play the field because she has seen the pain and sorrow and still feels it every day (the reason for her tears). So – ‘never try to trick me” or never try to cover up what is going on around me.
    “The suave eternal serpents” I see as the people that are just out there to have fun and live life, because everyone loves the inner child and just wants to be happy – no matter what.
    “Sooner or later something goes amiss” I interpret – means that sooner or later something happens and the truth will come out – no matter what you did and how you strived to cover it up. “the singing birds” I see as happiness, as carefree living will leave and is replaced with the truth. While “the dying man” no longer has the same ambition, and known the truth – he does not need to be ‘tricked with a kiss’ because he knows it is only a trick – a cover up.

  5. Sara says:

    I think it’s about a man who’s hitting on her. He doesn’t love her, and she knows that. She’s starting to fall in love with him, and to stop herself from being hurt, probably for the second or third time, she’s telling this to both him and herself. She’s telling him that she’s looking for someone who will love her honestly, and she’s not interested in his trickery.

  6. still coughing *ahem* says:

    Can tell she samoan….
    she like beef with the person who try trick her!
    It’s probably her life….unfair-ish.
    but explaining in words…..woooaahh!! O_O

  7. sarah says:

    I don´t think is a lover i think that she doesn´t wan´t to be trick by death or life I think that she believe that life wasn´t fair

  8. ameri says:

    well, this poem is oviously about her love of her life walking out on her, and she doesnt kno how to take it shes confused and lost at the same time.

  9. Danielle says:

    i feel as though the dying man represents honesty, all things true. the author has obviously been jaded by the promise of love.

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