Saturday, January 1, 2011

Classic Poetry - (New Year on Dartmoor - Sylvia Plath)

New Year on Dartmoor

This is newness: every little tawdry
Obstacle glass-wrapped and peculiar,
Glinting and clinking in a saint's falsetto. Only you
Don't know what to make of the sudden slippiness,
The blind, white, awful, inaccessible slant.
There's no getting up it by the words you know.
No getting up by elephant or wheel or shoe.
We have only come to look. You are too new
To want the world in a glass hat.

Sylvia Plath (October 27, 1932–February 11, 1963)

It is the New Year and with that we ring in new poems.  After having read this poem what are your thoughts? If you have any thoughts on this poem or any other New Years poems please feel free to share them with us in the comments section below. We look forward to hearing what you have to say or share. 

Poets United posts a classic poem once weekly. We want to do this to introduce classic poets and their poems to our members. It is also a way to display different styles, genres and approaches to poetry. Our intent is to further expand the world of poetry while educating ourselves.

If you have a classic poem or set of prose you are fond of please let us know by emailing it to us at


  1. Oh cheer up, Sylvia, and get your head out of the oven. I want to bake a pie.

    Still, "You are too new to want the world in a glass hat" is one fine line.

  2. She could make every mundane little thing she saw into something no one ever thought of before. Words were her science; she used them to re-invent the world around her.
    Good grief, I love Sylvia SO much!
    Thank you, Poets United, for showcasing my idol!

  3. I am reading an exceptional book by Diane Middlebrook called "Her Husband"; a profound intellectual examination of the relationship between Plath and Hughes.

    Sylvia was given a great gift, sometimes turned curse: The inability to separate her Self from her passion.

    Fireblossom, how sad that pies replace empathy in your life. A true tragedy.

  4. Dear Sylvia!
    She hauntingly expressed the feeling of wanting the inaccessible, of feeling unworthy.
    I feel her pain, her enthusiasm, her yearning and her open heart whenever I read her work.

  5. I love her too and related to her so much when I was young and unhappily married. Great pick for a poem.

  6. Sister Rags, you know nothing about my life. No. thing.

    Plath gets on my nerves for being so mythologized for being a tormented train wreck, rather than for her work. Do you think she would be so well-known today if she had lived to ripe old age? Hardly likely. But every unhappy poetry writing college girl snaps up The Bell Jar looking for a kindred spirit.

  7. I love Sylvia Plath for many reasons. One is her poetry is enchanting to someone like me who is also tormented in many of the same ways she was. I too have borderline personality disorder and so much of her poetry speaks to me.

    I read the book, "Her Husband" and thought is was an excellent read. Regardless, Sylvia Plath was incredibly talented.

    PS: Sorry I haven't been leaving comments lately but there was something wrong with my account settings and I am now able to comment again. Thank God!!

    ~Just Me (Kristie)

  8. Ah! What an amazing poet to choose. Sylvia Plath is by far my favourite poet: using small things to make literary beauty. She's raw and real without the capability of holding back. You can see everything she feels in what she writes.

    Though she was tormented and beyond depressed, she lives on through her poetry. She's left us an amazing gift.


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