Crossing the Water
The poem "Mirror" appeared for the first time in Crossing the Water, published posthumously in 1971. The collection includes works set in different locations, some real and some others are rather imaginary, written in the early 1960s. The influence of great poets such as Yeats, Auden, and Eliot is evident in this poem, together with extended references to Shakespeare, folklore and classical mythology. The poems in this collection represent
Plath's effort to come to terms with the unknown and the unconscious and they have often been defined as visual and painterly as they are characterized by starling images recalling the artists Plath, such as Gauguin, De Chirico,
Brueghel and Klee.
I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.
Whatever you see I swallow immediately
Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike.
I am not cruel, only truthful---
The eye of a little god, four-cornered.
Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall.
It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long
I think it is a part of my heart. But it flickers.
Faces and darkness separate us over and over.
Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me,
Searching my reaches for what she really is.
Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.
I see her back, and reflect it faithfully.
She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands.
I am important to her. She comes and goes.
Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness.
In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman
Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish.[/h2]