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Mad Girl’s Love Song By Sylvia Plath

mad girl's love song by sylvia plath

Would you believe it if I said that apparently, Sylvia Plath wrote the poem Mad Girl’s Love Song in the same month when she first attempted suicide? It is true! Why else would she call herself a mad girl? A New York-based magazine, titled, Mademoiselle was the first to publish the poem, which then received much fame and acclamation. In fact, it was one of Sylvia’s favorites too.

Mad Girl’s Love Song by Sylvia Plath is a poem written from the point of view of a young woman who’s had her heartbroken. Even though a very short poem, there so much that the poet conveys, depicting the various phases of love. Throughout the poem, she questions if her lover was real or if she imaged him and their love story.

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Mad Girl’s Love Song

-Sylvia Plath

mad girl's love song

“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.)”

mad girl's love song by sylvia plath

Mad girl’s love song by Sylvia Plath is a Villanelle style poem that contains nineteen lines, a quatrain at the end, and the rhyme scheme of ABA ABA ABA ABA ABA ABAA. Clearly, the narrator of the poem is madly in love with someone, and not finding him around makes her love go insane. In the first stanza, she mentions how when she closes her eyes, she feels like the entire world doesn’t exist for her. If there’s anything that exists, it is her love. But as soon as she opens her eyes, it all seems like a mere imagination.

As the poem Mad girl’s love song progresses, we see various themes like isolation, insanity, heartbreak, and pain that the narrator is coping with. In the third stanza, she even claims to have dreamt that her man kissed her on the bed, which made her fall for him even more. But then again, when she is wide awake, she feels she made it all up and that none of it is true.

The poem sways the reader into thinking two things, either the narrator was genuinely heartbroken that she wanted to put the man in her imagination to cope with the pain, or that she underwent some mental health issues where she actually imaged the person who she loved. Either way, it brings out the perfect sense of heartbreak and love. Sylvia Plath also includes religion in the poem by speaking about God, satan, Seraphim, and hell.

sylvia plath poems

As we reach the end of the Mad girl’s love song, we learn that the poet is feeling dejected at not seeing the man return to her. She expresses how she will forget his name too with age. In the last few lines of the poem, the narrator articulates how she should have rather loved a thunderbird. The birds leave too, but their absence is not permanent. As soon it is spring season again, they come back roaring, lifting everyone’s moods.

In the end, Sylvia Plath once again uses the same lines, that when she opened her eyes, he was all gone, and probably she made him up.

Mad Girl’s Love Song by Sylvia Plath is one of a kind. Whether she was expressing the state of her mental health at the time or if she was really heartbroken, one will never know. What we do know is that poem is one of the best poetry fans can read.

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Hemali Adhiya

Hemali Adhiya is the co-founder and author of the e-magazine Love Smitten. Alongside writing and editing for several other websites, she hosts a YouTube Channel- Total Angrezi. Traveling is her way to unwind, and she loves recording these experiences!

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