Written in the form of a villanelle, "Mad Girl's Love Song" is a poem by American poet Sylvia Plath. She wrote the poem in 1953 when she was in her third year at college. The poem was published in Mademoiselle magazine in 1953, where she completed a month-long placement.
Throughout her life, Plath suffered from mental illness. The summer of 1953 was a particularly dark time for Sylvia, as she suffered from severe depression, culminating in an attempted suicide at the end of the summer. This poem is about heartbreak and mental health, giving an insight into Plath's state of mind at this time.
Although this is an early poem of Plath's, we can see elements of her later poems developing here. For example, Plath's mastery of poetic form is seen here in her choice of a villanelle. Additionally, Plath's focus on mental illness and personal experience is seen in "Mad Girl's Love Song."