Poetry Appearing in Poetry In Motion® Portland

I Am Vertical (excerpt)

Sylvia Plath

But I would rather be horizontal.
I am not a tree with my root in the soil
Sucking up minerals and motherly love
So that each March I may gleam into leaf,
Nor am I the beauty of a garden bed
Attracting my share of Ahs and spectacularly painted,
Unknowing I must soon unpetal.
Compared with me, a tree is immortal
And a flower-head not tall, but more startling,
And I want the one's longevity and the other's daring.

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"I am Vertical" (excerpt) by Sylvia Plath from The Collected Poems of Sylvia Plath, edited by Ted Hughes. Copyright © 1966, 1994 by Ted Hughes. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.


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