One Clover & A Bee: The Right Bed in a Universe of Beds

I’m Grateful for…The Bed Book

If you’re familiar with Sylvia Plath’s work you might be surprised to see a poem of hers here. But in addition to her darkly brilliant work she also wrote a book for her children, The Bed Book, that’s bright and whimsical.

This book, which also has wonderful illustrations, is out of print, but used copies are still available. I encourage you to seek it out and read the entire poem, especially if you’re already a Plath fan; it’s heartening to imagine the lighter moments she had as a writer and a mother.

This is most definitely a poem to say out loud. Plath is a master of alliteration and verbal acrobatics, and this poem is no exception. My favorite bit is the twisty second stanza. I read it with my son this morning and he gave it a big thumbs up.

from The Bed Book
by Sylvia Plath

Most Beds are Beds
For sleeping or resting,
But the best Beds are much
More interesting!

Not just a white little
Tucked-in-tight little
Nighty-night little
Turn-out-the light little
Bed –

A Bed for Fishing,
A Bed for Cats,
A Bed for a Troupe of

The right sort of Bed
(If you see what I mean)
Is a Bed that might
Be a Submarine

Nosing through water
Clear and green,
Silver and glittery
As a sardine.

Or a Jet-Propelled Bed
For visiting Mars
With mosquito nets
For the shooting stars…

The next time you’re tucking your little ones into bed, read this poem. Better yet, get the book, and make your way through the entire universe of beds together, night by night.


Amy Dryansky

Amy’s the mother of two children who seem to enjoy poetry, for which she’s extremely grateful. Her first book, How I Got Lost So Close To Home, was published by Alice James Books and poems have appeared in a variety of anthologies and journals. She’s a former Associate at the Five College Women’s Studies Research Center at Mt. Holyoke College, where she looked at the impact of motherhood on the work of women poets. In addition to her life as a poet, Dryansky works for a land trust, teaches in at Hampshire College, leads workshops in the community and writes about what it’s like to navigate the territory of mother/poet/worker at her blog, Pokey Mama. Her second book, Grass Whistle, is forthcoming from Salmon Poetry in 2013.

[Photo credit: (ccl) anjakb]

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