Thursday, February 11, 2010

Oh Sylvia,

I nearly forgot it was Annual Sylvia Plath Bake Off Day-- odd since just last week I was reading through Ariel slowly before I went to bed. I remember devouring every single peice of info, every bio, every journal ten or so years ago, and indeed, in the early days, she was my sole poetic model, not only in writing, but how to BE a poet. (in those, naive pre-internet days when I knew no actual living poets or really even what that meant). Still, it's odd to think that she never made it even to the age that I am now, that her talent never fully grew and ran it's natural course. It makes me especially sad to think what might have been possible even five, ten yearls later, given how amazing Ariel is. 30 seemed so old once, now it seems so young and unfinished. When I first encountered the Bell Jar at age 17 (and only because I was hunting Gone with the Wind in the JHS library and recognized the title as a Bangles song on their Everything album) admittedly I was nonplussed and couldn't figure out what the fuss was. Two years later, you would have had to pry the book from my hands. I think of other poets of roughly her generation who managed not to off themselves--Denis Levertov, Adrienne Rich, and while I enjoy their work very much, and would say the same about Anne Sexton, they lack that thing. I don't know what to call it--a certain fever, a fire, a certain spark, hell, maybe even genius..

Anyhow, since I can't bake to save my life, I will just post a poem:


Stasis in darkness.
Then the substanceless blue
Pour of tor and distances.

God's lioness,
How one we grow,
Pivot of heels and knees! -- The furrow

Splits and passes, sister to
The brown arc
Of the neck I cannot catch,

Berries cast dark
Hooks --

Black sweet blood mouthfuls,
Something else

Hauls methrough air --
Thighs, hair;
Flakes from my heels.

Godiva, I unpeel --
Dead hands, dead stringencies.

And now I
Foam to wheat, a glitter of seas.
The child's cry

Melts in the wall.
And I
Am the arrow,

The dew that flies
Suicidal, at one with the drive
Into the red

Eye, the cauldron of morning.

1 comment:

Bronwen said...

Have you read Marjorie Perloff's essay on "The 2 Ariels"? It's all about Hughes' changes to Plath's plan for Ariel and really interesting (and frustraing). . .