A dream tree, Polly’s tree:
a thicket of sticks,
each speckled twig

ending in a thin-paned
leaf unlike any
other on it

or in a ghost flower
flat as paper and
of a color

vaporish as frost-breath,
more finical than
any silk fan

the Chinese ladies use
to stir robin’s egg
air. The silver-

haired seed of the milkweed
comes to roost there, frail
as the halo

rayed round a candle flame,
a will-o’-the-wisp
nimbus, or puff

of cloud-stuff, tipping her
queer candelabrum.
Palely lit by

snuff-ruffed dandelions,
white daisy wheels and
a tiger faced

pansy, it glows. O it’s
no family tree,
Polly’s tree, nor

a tree of heaven, though
it marry quartz-flake,
feather and rose.

It sprang from her pillow
whole as a cobweb
ribbed like a hand,

a dream tree. Polly’s tree
wears a valentine
arc of tear-pearled

bleeding hearts on its sleeve
and, crowning it, one
blue larkspur star.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Sylvia Plath's poem Polly’s Tree


  1. Carla says:

    I am currently analysing this poem for my grade 12 poetry assessment. It is such an interesting poem that has so many gaps for the reader to fill. For example, who si Polly? (Majority of people would automatically assume she is an young girl, but consider she may be an old woman reminising on her childhood, or a dream which she had. It could also be an animal that lives in the tree…)
    Just something to think about 🙂

  2. Polly says:

    i like this poem because my name is Polly
    I dont understand it, but I like trees

  3. javi says:

    I like this poem but I don’t understand at all

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Your email address will not be published.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.