Tuesday, February 14, 2006

There's gotta be a record of you somewhere/ You gotta be on somebody's books.

Everything of meaning I've ever written is influenced by Sylvia Plath. The Bell Jar, quite literally, rocked my world, and I think my sensibility (not to mention my writing) is the richer for it.

Plath was the original golden girl. She married Ted Hughes. She left him, and went away to live in WB Yeats' old home with her children. She committed suicide.

Most of all, she wrote stuff like this (difficult stuff, to be sure; the villanelle is among the toughest forms of poetry to write):

Mad Girl's Love Song

I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,
And arbitrary blackness gallops in:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

God topples from the sky, hell's fires fade:
Exit seraphim and Satan's men:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I fancied you'd return the way you said,
But I grow old and I forget your name.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

I should have loved a thunderbird instead;
At least when spring comes they roar back again.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

And this: her rare reading of Lady Lazarus.

Kate Moses wrote a fictional version of her life, Wintering. Doesn't hold a candle to the images in my head. Or in her writing.

Years after I first read them, Plath's lines continue to play softly, but frequently, inside my head: “How did I know that someday – at college, in Europe, somewhere, anywhere – the bell jar, with its stifling distortions, wouldn’t descend again?”

4 comments:

Hope said...

Thank you for some insight on Sylvia. I am no expert, but I now what I like. I always enjoyed her, now and again

Hope said...

Returning your visit. I agree with the word inuksuk, ee nook sook, just kind of rolls off your tongue, but moves something inside you as it passes. Though not a creative poet, I love words!
Perhaps you, can honor this powerful symbol with a poem.a haiku peraps.ttfn

Hope said...

Inuksuk

silent sentinals
the intent of their creator
a place of refuge

Lady Writer said...

Inuksuk: 'like man'.
Silently standing, withstanding,
Speaking. In. Uk. Suk.

 
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