The prince leans to the girl in scarlet heels,
Her green eyes slant, hair flaring in a fan
Of silver as the rondo slows; now reels
Begin on tilted violins to span

The whole revolving tall glass palace hall
Where guests slide gliding into light like wine;
Rose candles flicker on the lilac wall
Reflecting in a million flagons' shine,

And glided couples all in whirling trance
Follow holiday revel begun long since,
Until near twelve the strange girl all at once
Guilt-stricken halts, pales, clings to the prince

As amid the hectic music and cocktail talk
She hears the caustic ticking of the clock.

by Sylvia Plath

Other poems of PLATH (249)

Comments (15)

I like the Ning Nang Nong.
Absolute delight.
Wonderful poem. Well penned.
Awsm poem :)
This poem displays a conflict between despair and hope. Despair is shown whens he clings to the Prince at the tick of the clock and her hope is when the prince leans into her. Reel is a verb that means wing on thread, yard etc. so the tilted violin is spanning the whole party and the glass palace with its music. Its capturing them with its yarns and threads, spinning around them hence the word spun. And theres this whole issue with wine and flagon. The people are glide into the light like wine. They contamine the pureness with their own stinge. I wonder why the candles had to be of roses, why her shoes had to be red, and why wine? All of these images are suggestive of the color red which in some cultures represents life but in some respects its also death as in blood. So her only hope is also sprung from her only despair. Also everyone else is occupied with their flagons of wine, while the couples are being reflected upon these bottles. It’s a cocktail party. This poem is a modern version of Cinderella.
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