Poetry | The Sleepers by Sylvia Plath

Title of Sylvia Plath's The Sleepers, from The London Magazine June 1960



No map traces the street
Where those two sleepers are.
We have lost track of it.
They lie as if under water
In a blue, unchanging light,
The French window ajar


Curtained with yellow lace.
Through the narrow crack
Odours of wet earth rise.
The snail leaves a silver track;
Dark thickets hedge the house.
We take a backward look.


Among petals pale as death
And leaves steadfast in shape
They sleep on, mouth to mouth.
A white mist is going up.
The small green nostrils breathe,
And they turn in their sleep.


Ousted from that warm bed
We are a dream that they dream.
Their eyelids keep the shade.
No harm can come to them.
We cast our skins and slide
Into another time.