In 'Black Rook in Rainy Weather' the poet again musters up self-irony to face her urge to commune with nature. She might wish to see 'some design' among the fallen leaves and receive 'some backtalk / From the mute sky,' but this, she knows, would be to expect a miracle. Still, she leaves herself open to any minute gesture on the part of nature lending 'largesse, honor, / One might say love’ even to the dullest landscape and the most ignorant viewer; this could be achieved, for instance, by letting a black rook arrange its feathers in such a way as to captivate the viewer's senses and so 'grant // A brief respite from fear / Of total neutrality.' The miracle has not happened yet, but the hope of such a moment of transcendent beauty and communion is worth the wait. She knows that it might in fact be only a trick of light which the viewer interprets as 'that rare, random descent’ of an angel.
From "Sylvia Plath’s Psychic Landscapes." English Studies 71.6 (December 1990).