Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Because she's amazing

Good to see the skelfies (is that our collective noun - apologies if not) that made it along to the SLP Round Table on Monday. We had a wee bit of Sylvia Plath, among other things, which inspired me to take her down from my shelf and read a little more. I think this is amazing:


I know the bottom, she says.
I know it with my great tap root;
It is what you fear.

I do not fear it:
I have been there.
Is it the sea you hear in me,

Its dissatisfactions?
Or the voice of nothing,
that was you madness?

Love is a shadow.
How you lie and cry after it
Listen: these are its hooves: it has gone off, like a horse.

All night I shall gallup thus, impetuously,
Till your head is a stone, your pillow a little turf,
Echoing, echoing.

Or shall I bring you the sound of poisons?
This is rain now, the big hush.
And this is the fruit of it: tin white, like arsenic.

I have suffered the atrocity of sunsets.
Scorched to the root
My red filaments burn and stand,a hand of wires.

Now I break up in pieces that fly about like clubs.
A wind of such violence
Will tolerate no bystanding: I must shriek.

The moon, also, is merciless: she would drag me
Cruelly, being barren.
Her radiance scathes me.

Or perhaps I have caught her.
I let her go. I let her go
Diminished and flat, as after radical surgery.

How your bad dreams possess and endow me.
I am inhabited by a cry.
Nightly it flaps out

Looking, with its hooks, for something to love.

I am terrified by this dark thing
That sleeps in me;
All day I feel its soft, feathery turnings, its malignity.

Clouds pass and disperse.
Are those the faces of love, those pale irretrievables?
Is it for such I agitate my heart?

I am incapable of more knowledge.
What is this, this face
So murderous in its strangle of branches?--

Its snaky acids kiss.
It petrifies the will. These are the isolate, slow faults
That kill, that kill, that kill.

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