It happens. Will it go on? —-
My mind a rock,
No fingers to grip, no tongue,
My god the iron lung

That loves me, pumps
My two
Dust bags in and out,
Will not

Let me relapse
While the day outside glides by like ticker tape.
The night brings violets,
Tapestries of eyes,

The soft anonymous
Talkers: ‘You all right?’
The starched, inaccessible breast.

Dead egg, I lie
On a whole world I cannot touch,
At the white, tight

Drum of my sleeping couch
Photographs visit me-
My wife, dead and flat, in 1920 furs,
Mouth full of pearls,

Two girls
As flat as she, who whisper ‘We’re your daughters.’
The still waters
Wrap my lips,

Eyes, nose and ears,
A clear
Cellophane I cannot crack.
On my bare back

I smile, a buddha, all
Wants, desire
Falling from me like rings
Hugging their lights.

The claw
Of the magnolia,
Drunk on its own scents,
Asks nothing of life.

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


  1. Subrata Ray says:

    The world is receding from the poetess , and she is perplexed and confused with the running adjustments of her fellow comrades . No where she can anchor her faith and feels sorrowfully disgusted .

  2. navajo tane says:

    To Mr. Cooper from the US, obviously its a depressing poem. The poem was about her imminent suicide. Kudos to the poem also, its as amazing as a white unicorn. xx

  3. Tim Cooper says:

    I found this a rather depressing poem, but nonetheless moving. And like he before be, I am aghast that this poem is so ignored. It is a work of art and truly one of Plath’s greatest pieces.

  4. jamie mcginlay says:

    first, let me start by saying
    it, like ‘cut’ as those certain elements. the exact placement of words that make it immacuate and un- faulted. short poetry almost has another life to itself. it direct and stright forward.

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Your email address will not be published.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.