Mirror (Romanian translation)



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.
  • exact.:

    The mirror doesn't change what it shows you based on it's understanding of who you are, or whether you're having a bad day or a good day – it just shows what it sees.

  • Whatever you see I swallow immediately:

    We think of what mirrors do to everything they see – they reflect it. Swallowing everything, then, is a metaphor for reflecting everything.

  • Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike.:

    This line is giving us more information about how the mirror is swallowing what it sees, while also confirming what we already know from the first line: that the mirror is exact and has no preconceptions.

  • a little god:

    Notice that the word "god" isn't capitalized in this line: it could refer to any god.

  • god:

    Indeed, the mirror is getting a little high and mighty here, saying that it's powerful. It's also saying something about what it thinks a god is like – not cruel, but truthful.

  • four-cornered.:

    The god's eye is "four-cornered" (square or rectangular) helps us complete – in a concise and graceful way – the image of the eye in the shape of a mirror.

  • I meditate on the opposite wall.:

    This line tells us in a roundabout way what the mirror is facing: a wall.

  • It is pink, with speckles.:

    The wall is speckled and pink.

  • I have looked at it so long I think it is a part ...:

    The mirror tells us about its connection to the wall. Using enjambment, a literary device where a thought is split between two lines, the mirror tells us that it has looked at this wall for so long that it feels like the wall is a part of its heart.

  • But it flickers.:

    At the end of the eighth line, we see that the relationship between the wall and the mirror isn't as constant as we thought: the wall flickers.

  • Faces and darkness separate us over and over.:

    The faces come to look in the mirror, and when they leave, they turn the light off, leaving the mirror to reflect nothing but the darkness.

  • separate us over and over:

    The way Plath has structured this line makes us think that the mirror must be sad at this separation. We'd think that these two lines were part of a love poem from person to her beloved, and not from a mirror to a wall.

  • Now I am a lake.:

    We're now no longer hearing from a mirror, but from a lake. Yet Plath is conscious of this change – it sets it up with the word "now."

  • A woman bends over me,:

    Whether or not this lake is the same at heart as the mirror, the poem moves on to show what the lake is reflecting: a woman.

  • for what she really is.:

    But the woman isn't only trying to see the reflection of her face; she's hoping to see something deeper: what she really is.

  • those liars, the candles or the moon.:

    The lake calls candles and the moon liars, because their light can warp sight, often hiding people's blemishes and making them appear more beautiful.

  • She rewards me with tears and an agitation of ...:

    This line shows that the woman is anxious to find what she's looking for – as the lake told us earlier, she's not satisfied with the lake at first glance, but eventually turns back to it.

  • agitation:

    Can be worry and anxiety

  • In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an ...:

    In these two lines, drowning and rising in the lake metaphorically describe aging.

  • Rises toward her day after day:

    Also in the lake, an old woman rises up – but again, we don't think this is an actual old woman in the lake. Instead, the woman's reflection is changing and aging. She sees herself growing into an old woman.

  • a terrible fish:

    This old woman is like a "terrible fish," which brings the lake metaphor full circle and gives us a ghastly image of what this young woman has turned into: something as ugly as a fish.

Submitted by Rayuna MousavianRayuna Mousavian on Fri, 15/05/2020 - 16:21
Romanian translationRomanian
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Sunt de argint şi exactă. Nu am prejudecăţi.
Orice văd înghit imediat
Aşa cum e, ne-nceţoşat de dragoste sau repulsie.
Nu sunt crudă, ci doar adevărată –
Ochiul unui mic zeu, în patru colţuri.
Aproape tot timpul mă gândesc la zidul opus.
Este roz cu picăţele. L–am privit atât de mult
Că-l cred o parte din inima mea. Dar el pâlpâie.
Chipuri şi umbre ne despart din când în când.
Acum sunt un lac. O femeie se apleacă spre mine.
Cerându-mi să-i spun cine e cu adevărat.
Apoi se întoarce spre acei mincinoşi : lumânările sau luna.
Şi văd spatele şi i-l reflectă cu credinţă.
Mă răsplăteşte cu lacrimi si cu agitarea mâinilor.
Sunt importantă pentru ea. Ea vine şi pleacă.
În fiecare dimineaţă faţa ei înlocuieşte întunericul.
În mine a înecat o faţă tânără şi din mine se ridică o femeie bătrână
Înspre ea, zi după zi, ca un peşte hidos.
Submitted by Valeriu RautValeriu Raut on Tue, 15/06/2021 - 04:39
Read about music throughout history