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A Sad Girl’s Love Song

by Leio Koga //

Slyvia Plath left a literary legacy behind her, although her story is quite the tragedy. Plath was a brilliant student but struggled with severe mental illnesses from a young age. By the time she was 30, Plath was well-known in the literary community. She was known for her confessional style of writing and poetry; her pieces were described to intensely portray her mental anguish, volatile emotional state, troubled marriage, poor self-image, and unresolved conflict with her parents. Plath wrote some of her most famous pieces, including, “Daddy,” “The Bell Jar,” and “The Colossus,” during the worst mental state of her life. She fell into a deep depression and committed suicide when she was only 31. 

I was exposed to the power of Plath’s words when I first read “Mad Girl’s Love Song” during my senior year of high school. This poem is about someone who is going through heartbreak and suffering from mental health issues. The poem, though very abstract, clearly depicts the dangers of living within one’s mind all the time, especially when one’s thoughts are clouded by heartbreak and pain. Plath draws on the idea of how romance is not romantic at all. The way Plath writes, love is empty, unfulfilling, and possibly, all in one’s head. While she wrote this poem when she was just 20 years old, I could clearly see her internal, emotional turbulence of heartbreak and unrequited love. I wanted to recreate this poem as a reflection of the anguish and pure sadness that her words made me feel. 

A Sad Girl’s Love Song

I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead

Trapped in a vision of the infinite ocean

The vicious waves of your love I tread 

The breeze whispers like a lover, but I was only mislead 

I am the waves undeniably drawn back into your deep, perilous sea 

I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead 

Your anger is a storm—fast but calamitous— I always dread

Each time I mend my broken pieces just for your disaster to strike me again 

And leave my soul in shreds

God topples from the sky, hell’s waves rise and crash, and I hang on by a thread

But the raft tips over and I thrash, sob, curse your name  

I wish I made you up inside my head 

I fell for the way your surface sparkled, but instead

Your love was the world of secrecy underneath it 

Chained to an anchor, darkness consumed me whole but still, for you, my heart bled 

I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead

Trapped in a vision of the infinite ocean 

And at the bottom is where you are, on a throne created from my tears of pain  

I wish I made you up inside my head