He loved her and she loved him.
His kisses sucked out her whole past and future or tried to
He had no other appetite
She bit him she gnawed him she sucked
She wanted him complete inside her
Safe and sure forever and ever
Their little cries fluttered into the curtains

Her eyes wanted nothing to get away
Her looks nailed down his hands his wrists his elbows
He gripped her hard so that life
Should not drag her from that moment
He wanted all future to cease
He wanted to topple with his arms round her
Off that moment's brink and into nothing
Or everlasting or whatever there was

Her embrace was an immense press
To print him into her bones
His smiles were the garrets of a fairy palace
Where the real world would never come
Her smiles were spider bites
So he would lie still till she felt hungry
His words were occupying armies
Her laughs were an assassin's attempts
His looks were bullets daggers of revenge
His glances were ghosts in the corner with horrible secrets
His whispers were whips and jackboots
Her kisses were lawyers steadily writing
His caresses were the last hooks of a castaway
Her love-tricks were the grinding of locks
And their deep cries crawled over the floors
Like an animal dragging a great trap
His promises were the surgeon's gag
Her promises took the top off his skull
She would get a brooch made of it
His vows pulled out all her sinews
He showed her how to make a love-knot
Her vows put his eyes in formalin
At the back of her secret drawer
Their screams stuck in the wall

Their heads fell apart into sleep like the two halves
Of a lopped melon, but love is hard to stop

In their entwined sleep they exchanged arms and legs
In their dreams their brains took each other hostage

In the morning they wore each other's face

                                                        Ted Hughes


                  Taken from



Mad Girl's Love Song


"I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,
And arbitrary blackness gallops in:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

God topples from the sky, hell's fires fade:
Exit seraphim and Satan's men:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I fancied you'd return the way you said,
But I grow old and I forget your name.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

I should have loved a thunderbird instead;
At least when spring comes they roar back again.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)"

                                                      Sylvia Plath


                 Taken from:





Titles of the poems: Lovesong by Ted Hughes and Mad girl’s love song, by Sylvia Plath.


La poesía de  Ted Hughes (Gran Bretaña, 1930-1999) es física, de un tono casi feroz, y enfatiza el inconsciente.(…) Estuvo casado con la poeta estadounidense Sylvia Plath” (


Sylvia Plath (Estados Unidos, 1932-1963) empezó a escribir poesía de niña (…) Ariel (1965) está considerado como su mejor libro de poemas que, al igual que su poesía posterior publicada después de su suicidio, refleja un ensimismamiento y una obsesión por la muerte crecientes” (


I think it’s quite difficult to establish a good comparison (a simple formal comparison would be easier) between these two poems, these two great works griten by two of the most representative writers in English language in the twentieth century.

To begin with, both poems have almost the same title, Love song, adding Sylvia Plath a premonitory and at the same time autobiographical Mad girl (she was demented and died at the age of thirty: she was a little woman, she was still a girl).


Ted Hughes’s poem is much longer than his wife’s one. Lovesong contains forty-four verses divided into six stanzas: the first stanza has seven lines; the second one, eight lines; the third one (the longest) contains twenty-four; the fourth and fifth ones only have two lines and the last stanza is one single line.

The poem written by Sylvia Plath is composed of five stanzas with three lines and a sixth stanza with four lines.


The rhyme is very different in both works. While in Lovesong I have only found four lines with some kind of rhyme (Her love-tricks were the grinding of locks/ And their deep cries crawled over the floors; and Like an animal dragging a great trop/ His promises were the surgeon’s gag), in Sylvia Plath’s poem we can find several kinds of rhyme: in stanzas 1, 2, 3 and 5 the rhyme is ABA; in stanza number 4 the rhyme is ABB and in the last stanza, the only with four lines, the rhyme is ABAA.


Going on with the analysis of the form in the poems commented, I have to say that repetition is the most resource used: articles and possessive pronouns are often repeated: in Ted Hughes’s poem the word he is said seven times: she, six times; his is written fourteen times, and her, nineteen times.

There are also words such as were or their which are repeated several times through the poem. All these words have great meaning in the message of the poem: for Ted Hughes love is a two-people thing. That’s the reason why Hughes uses these words, despite were does not refer to their necessarily. I will explain this later.

Placing so many possessive pronouns and articles at the beginning of so many lines produces a kind of visual effect on the reader.


On the other hand, Sylvia Plath, despite repeating single words, works harder on content and repeats some whole lines, lines that have an important role on the meaning of the poem: I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead; and (I think I made up inside my head) are repeated four times through the poem.


The way in which Sylvia Plath writes is more the way a woman writes: I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed/ And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane (lines 7 and 8) or I fancied you’d return the way you said (line 13).


In a couple, the promises of coming back uses to do them the man. For the girl, his beloved is an invention, she’s only one person, while for Ted Hughes, in his poem, the lovers are two, a real man and a real woman, a real couple as Hughes writes in, for instance, the last line of the poem: In the morning they wore each other’s face. Or in the lines where the word their is said: In their entwined sleep they exchanged arms and legs. They is, like were or their, words just commented before, a word that is repeated several times, and it symbolizes the fact that only one person cannot love or be loved.


Sylvia Plath has a more romantic, even fantastic vision of love, while Ted Hughes is more realistic and at the same time more optimistic in his lines. It’s difficult to say what poem is better, it’s a matter of personal taste.


I prefer Sylvia Plath’s work, I like thinks that are brief, short and good. Lovesong is a wonderful poem too, but maybe it’s too long and has a bit of an anarchic structure.