Sylvia Plath's "Poppies in October" is a melancholy poem that focuses on beauty in the natural world. The speaker notices vibrant red poppies in October, when the flowers don't typically bloom. Instead of simply welcoming this lovely sight, however, the speaker juxtaposes the flowers against the ugliness of the surrounding world, comparing them with images of pollution, blood, and human indifference. The poem is ambiguous and its symbolism open to interpretation, but one thing that seems clear is that the speaker sees the poppies not as a sign of happiness, but rather as a reminder that the rest of the world is bleak and sad in comparison. "Poppies in October" was included in Plath's second collection of poetry, Ariel. The collection was published posthumously in 1965, two years after the poet took her own life.