Sylvia Plath: Sleep in the Mojave Desert

Sleep in the Mojave Desert 

Out here there are no hearthstones,

Hot grains, simply. It is dry, dry.

And the air dangerous. Noonday acts queerly

On the mind’s eye erecting a line

Of poplars in the middle distance, the only

Object beside the mad, straight road

One can remember men and houses by.

A cool wind should inhabit these leaves

And a dew collect on them, dearer than money,

In the blue hour before sunup.

Yet they recede, untouchable as tomorrow,

Or those glittery fictions of spilt water

That glide ahead of the very thirsty.



I think of the lizards airing their tongues

In the crevice of an extremely small shadow

And the toad guarding his heart’s droplet.

The desert is white as a blind man’s eye,

Comfortless as salt. Snake and bird

Doze behind the old maskss of fury.

We swelter like firedogs in the wind.

The sun puts its cinder out. Where we lie

The heat-cracked crickets congregate

In their black armorplate and cry.

The day-moon lights up like a sorry mother,

And the crickets come creeping into our hair

To fiddle the short night away.

Sylvia Plath Presentations

Hello folks,

To help your critical analysis, and future revision, here’s a collection of the Plath presentations you all delivered before the holidays.













Plath Critical Reading

Hello folks,

Here’s the links to the Plath articles I’d like to you to read over the holidays – please have studied and digested these for Monday 24th October. It’ll really help with your understanding of Plath, and get you used to the language of critical writing that you will need to refer to in your dissertations.




Literary Study – Plath

Hello dears,

As you know, on Monday 29th August you will begin writing a Literary Study-style response to a question on Plath and the three questions we have studied so far. This is OPEN BOOK so you can have your plan in front of you, and will have an hour and a half in total.

Make sure your plan is completed for Monday, along with your DISSERTATION PROPOSALS.


  • Using your notes on ‘Blackberrying’, ‘Sleep in the Mojave Desert’ and ‘Arrival of the Bee Box’, you are going to plan a response to the below question.
  • We will write this on Monday and Tuesdays lessons, totalling 90 minutes.

With reference to at least three poems by a particular poet, discuss the effectiveness of the poet’s use of nature and the natural world in the presentation of significant themes and ideas.

Plath Group Presentations

Hello folks,

Over the weekend, you should be making notes to prepare for group presentations on ‘Blackberrying’ and ‘Sleep in the Mojave Desert’. These presentations will take place on Tuesday 28th June, with class time to prepare on Monday. Make sure you take the weekend to analyse the poems and the themes fully.


Discuss and make notes on how Plath explores the below themes in ‘Blackberrying’ and ‘Sleep in the Mojave Desert’

  • Isolation
  • The speaker’s relationship with nature/the natural world
  • The role of nature in exploring wider themes
  • The fragility of life
  • The sublime, i.e. the speaker’s awareness of her own smallness compared to nature’s grandeur.

I’ve also attached the poems below:

Plath Nature Poetry