Saturday, January 15, 2011

Wuthering Heights by Sylvia Plath

The horizons ring me like faggots,
Tilted and disparate, and always unstable.
Touched by a match, they might warm me,
And their fine lines singe
The air to orange
Before the distances they pin evaporate,
Weighting the pale sky with a soldier color.
But they only dissolve and dissolve
Like a series of promises, as I step forward.

There is no life higher than the grasstops
Or the hearts of sheep, and the wind
Pours by like destiny, bending
Everything in one direction.
I can feel it trying
To funnel my heat away.
If I pay the roots of the heather
Too close attention, they will invite me
To whiten my bones among them.

The sheep know where they are,
Browsing in their dirty wool-clouds,
Gray as the weather.
The black slots of their pupils take me in.
It is like being mailed into space,
A thin, silly message.
They stand about in grandmotherly disguise,
All wig curls and yellow teeth
And hard, marbly baas.

I come to wheel ruts, and water
Limpid as the solitudes
That flee through my fingers.
Hollow doorsteps go from grass to grass;
Lintel and sill have unhinged themselves.
Of people and the air only
Remembers a few odd syllables.
It rehearses them moaningly:
Black stone, black stone.

The sky leans on me, me, the one upright
Among all horizontals.
The grass is beating its head distractedly.
It is too delicate
For a life in such company;
Darkness terrifies it.
Now, in valleys narrow
And black as purses, the house lights
Gleam like small change.

Initial Reaction:
The first time I read the poem, all I got out of it was a vivid description of her surroundings. The first stanza is about the horizon when the sun is setting. The second is about the wind blowing the grass and herself along with the heat. The third is about the sheep in the field and how they affect her. The forth talks about empty houses on this land. The fifth stanza is about nature abusing her.

The horizons stimulate me like cigarettes. They are always changing. They look like they are on fire with the lines of the horizon lit up in orange. Along the distances they evaporate into a more solid color. But they only disappear just like promises and I move on with my life.
The is nothing alive above the grasstops or the hearts of sheep. The wind bends everything in one direction. It is trying to take my heat away. If I pay too much attention to the roots of the flowers I will become one with them; my bone buried underneath them.
The sheep know what their lives are about. They clean their grey wool, the same color as the weather. I look closely at the blacks of their pupils. They are trying to send me a message. They all stand around like grandmothers in disguise with yellow teeth and wig curls.
I walk into the wheel ruts and the water is as still as the solitudes that escape through my finger. There are plains of grass separating empty doorsteps. There air only remembers a few words. It repeats them over and over, saying black stone, black stone.
The sky is weighing me down. It is the only thing upright among all horizontals. The grass beats itself, it is too fragile for life with others like this. The darkness scares it. Night is coming. Now the houses in the valley light up, like small change gleams in a dark purse.

SW- There are 5 9-line stanzas. They are unryhmed and have no meter. Plath uses words that pertain to nature to create vivid images of where she is.
I- The imagery is the landscape of the place she is writing about. She writes about nature trying to bring her down. She is at war with nature yet she is amazed by it.
F- The isn't much figurative language in the poem.
T- The tone of the poem is depressing.
T- The theme is that nature can be overpowering. It is invincible unlike humans and it lasts forever.

The narrator is depressed because she is in a war with nature and she cannot win. She is generally unhappy.


  1. Very succinct. Thank you.

  2. The narrators war against nature is actually metaphorical she's not literally fighting against nature, things like the wind in this poem represent the pressure that society puts on her to be like every other woman in society at that time period, to be a conservative house wife, the narrator is fighting to keep her independence but she is weakening and it is starting to take a toll on her mental health as near the end of the poem she's at war with herself unsure of weather to just give up her individuality and do what society wants or keep going against the tide of society. But at the end she give into conformity and does what society wants her to do, she makes everything seem hopeless which is typical in Plath's work.

  3. This is my poem inspired by Plath's poem Wuthering Heights.

    The sky leans on me in this deserted place
    The wind moans and ripples the dark heather
    The sun sinks behind the hills
    Leaving a faint glow in the sky
    A lone sheep lays formless on wet earth
    Or is it just a white rock?
    I shiver and think of DEATH

  4. this poem sucks dick to be fair here

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