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Sylvia Plath

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The mother of mouths didn't love me. [11 Jan 2006|04:16am]

glass_doll
Lorelei


It is no night to drown in:
A full moon, river lapsing
Black beneath bland mirror-sheen,

The blue water-mists dropping
Scrim after scrim like fishnets
Though fishermen are sleeping,

The massive castle turrets
Doubling themselves in a glass
All stillness. Yet these shapes float

Up toward me, troubling the face
Of quiet. From the nadir
They rise, their limbs ponderous

With richness, hair heavier
Than sculptured marble. They sing
Of a world more full and clear

Than can be. Sisters, your song
Bears a burden too weighty
For the whorled ear's listening

Here, in a well-steered country,
Under a balanced ruler.
Deranging by harmony

Beyond the mundane order,
Your voices lay siege. You lodge
On the pitched reefs of nightmare,

Promising sure harborage;
By day, descant from borders
Of hebetude, from the ledge

Also of high windows. Worse
Even than your maddening
Song, your silence. At the source

Of your ice-hearted calling-
Drunkenness of the great depths.
O river, I see drifting

Deep in your flux of silver
Those great goddesses of peace.
Stone, stone, ferry me down there.


2 comments|post comment

[25 Oct 2005|06:48am]

shiinamiaru
November Graveyard


The scene stands stubborn: skinflint trees
Hoard last year's leaves, won't mourn, wear sackcloth, or turn
To elegiac dryads, and dour grass
Guards the hard-hearted emerald of its grassiness
However the grandiloquent mind may scorn
Such poverty. No dead men's cries

Flower forget-me-nots between the stones
Paving this grave ground. Here's honest rot
To unpick the heart, pare bone
Free of the fictive vein. When one stark skeleton
Bulks real, all saints' tongues fall quiet:
Flies watch no resurrections in the sun.

At the essential landscape stare, stare
Till your eyes foist a vision dazzling on the wind:
Whatever lost ghosts flare,
Damned, howling in their shrouds across the moor
Rave on the leash of the starving mind
Which peoples the bare room, the blank, untenanted air.
2 comments|post comment

[20 Jul 2005|03:49pm]

glass_doll
Spinster
~sylvia plath~


Now this particular girl
During a ceremonious april walk
With her latest suitor
Found herself, of a sudden, intolerably struck
By the birds' irregular babel
And the leaves' litter.

By this tumult afflicted, she
Observed her lover's gestures unbalance the air,
His gait stray uneven
Through a rank wilderness of fern and flower;
She judged petals in disarray,
The whole season, sloven.

How she longed for winter then! --
Scrupulously austere in its order
Of white and black
Ice and rock; each sentiment within border,
And heart's frosty discipline
Exact as a snowflake.

But here -- a burgeoning
Unruly enough to pitch her five queenly wits
Into vulgar motley --
A treason not to be borne; let idiots
Reel giddy in bedlam spring:
She withdrew neatly.

And round her house she set
Such a barricade of barb and check
Against mutinous weather
As no mere insurgent man could hope to break
With curse, fist, threat
Or love, either.
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1956 [19 Jul 2005|03:16pm]

glass_doll
Tale of a Tub

The photographic chamber of the eye
records bare painted walls, while an electric light
lays the chromium nerves of plumbing raw;
such poverty assaults the ego; caught
naked in the merely actual room,
the stranger in the lavatory mirror
puts on a public grin, repeats our name
but scrupulously reflects the usual terror.

Just how guilty are we when the ceiling
reveals no cracks that can be decoded? when washbowl
maintains it has no more holy calling
than physical ablution, and the towel
dryly disclaims that fierce troll faces lurk
in its explicit folds? or when the window,
blind with steam, will not admit the dark
which shrouds our prospects in ambiguous shadow?

Twenty years ago, the familiar tub
bred an ample batch of omens; but now
water faucets spawn no danger; each crab
and octopus--scrabbling just beyond the view,
waiting for some accidental break
in ritual, to strike--is definitely gone;
the authentic sea denies them and will pluck
fantastic flesh down to the honest bone.

We take the plunge; under water our limbs
waver, faintly green, shuddering away
from the genuine color of skin; can our dreams
ever blur the intransigent lines which draw
the shape that shuts us in? absolute fact
intrudes even when the revolted eye
is closed; the tub exists behind our back;
its glittering surfaces are blank and true.

Yet always the ridiculous nude flanks urge
the fabrication of some cloth to cover
such starkness; accuracy must not stalk at large:
each day demands we create our whole world over,
disguising the constant horror in a coat
of many-colored fictions; we mask our past
in the green of eden, pretend future's shining fruit
can sprout from the navel of this present waste.
In this particular tub, two knees jut up
like icebergs, while minute brown hairs rise
on arms and legs in a fringe of kelp; green soap
navigates the tidal slosh of seas
breaking on legendary beaches; in faith
we shall board our imagined ship and wildly sail
among sacred islands of the mad till death
shatters the fabulous stars and makes us real.
5 comments|post comment

early poem [18 Jul 2005|03:23pm]

glass_doll
To a Jilted Lover


Cold on my narrow cot I lie
and in sorrow look
through my window-square of black:

figured in the midnight sky,
a mosaic of stars
diagrams the falling years,

while from the moon, my lover's eye
chills me to death
with radiance of his frozen faith.

Once I wounded him with so
small a thorn
I never thought his flesh would burn

or that the heat within would grow
until he stood
incandescent as a god;

now there is nowhere I can go
to hide from him:
moon and sun reflect his flame.

In the morning all shall be
the same again:
stars pale before the angry dawn;

the gilded cock will turn for me
the rack of time
until the peak of noon has come

and by that glare, my love will see
how I am still
blazing in my golden hell.
1 comment|post comment

excerpt [17 Jul 2005|01:09pm]

glass_doll
excerpt from A Life


A woman is dragging her shadow in a circle
About a bald hospital saucer.
It resembles the moon, or a sheet of paper
And appears to have suffered a sort of private blitzkrieg.
She lives quietly

With no attachments, like a feotus in a bottle,
The obsolete house, the sea, flattened to a picture
She has one too many dimensions to enter.
Grief and anger, exorcised.
Leave her alone now.
1 comment|post comment

The theory or view that the self is the only reality. [20 Jun 2005|03:00am]

glass_doll
[ mood | tired ]

Soliloquy of the Solipsist
-Sylvia Plath-



I
I walk alone;
The midnight street
Spins itself from under my feet;
When my eyes shut
These dreaming houses all snuff out;
Through a whim of mine
Over gables the moon's celestial onion
Hangs high.

I
Make houses shrink
And trees diminish
By going far; my look's leash
Dangles the puppet-people
Who, unaware how they dwindle,
Laugh, kiss, get drunk,
Nor guess that if I choose to blink
They die.

I
When in good humor,
Give grass its green
Blazon sky blue, and endow the sun
With gold;
Yet, in my wintriest moods, I hold
Absolute power
To boycott any color and forbid any flower
To be.

I
Know you appear
Vivid at my side,
Denying you sprang out of my head,
Claiming you feel
Love fiery enough to prove flesh real,
Though it's quite clear
All you beauty, all your wit, is a gift, my dear,
From me.

4 comments|post comment

cross-posted around town [20 Jun 2005|12:52am]

glass_doll
Resolve
-Sylvia Plath-


Day of mist: day of tarnish

with hands
unserviceable, I wait
for the milk van

the one-eared cat
laps its gray paw

and the coal fire burns

outside, the little hedge leaves are
become quite yellow
a milk-film blurs
the empty bottles on the windowsill

no glory descends

two water drops poise
on the arched green
stem of my neighbor's rose bush

o bent bow of thorns

the cat unsheathes its claws
the world turns

today
today I will not
disenchant my twelve black-gowned examiners
or bunch my fist
in the wind's sneer.
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on a deep, dark night [18 Jun 2005|10:19pm]

glass_doll
[ mood | uncomfortable ]

Waking in Winter


I can taste the tin of the sky --- the real tin thing.
Winter dawn is the color of metal,
The trees stiffen into place like burnt nerves.
All night I have dreamed of destruction, annihilations ---
An assembly-line of cut throats, and you and I
Inching off in the gray Chevrolet, drinking the green
Poison of stilled lawns, the little clapboard gravestones,
Noiseless, on rubber wheels, on the way to the sea resort.

How the balconies echoed! How the sun lit up
The skulls, the unbuckled bones facing the view!
Space! Space! The bed linen was giving out entirely.
Cot legs melted in terrible attitudes, and the nurses ---
Each nurse patched her soul to a wound and disappeared.
The deathly guests had not been satisfied
With the rooms, or the smiles, or the beautiful rubber plants,
Or the sea, Hushing their peeled sense like Old Mother Morphia.

post comment

one of my favourites [18 Jun 2005|02:21am]

glass_doll
[ mood | weird ]

Elm
-Sylvia Plath-



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 your 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 gallop 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, this 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 hiss.
It petrifies the will. These are the isolate, slow faults
That kill, that kill, that kill.

4 comments|post comment

Whose red heart blooms through her coat so astoundingly [15 Jun 2005|01:37am]

glass_doll
[ mood | high ]

An Appearance
-*Sylvia Plath*-



The smile of iceboxes annihilates me.
Such blue currents in the veins of my loved one!
I hear her great heart purr.

From her lips ampersands and percent signs
Exit like kisses.
It is Monday in her mind: morals

Launder and present themselves.
What am I to make of these contradictions?
I wear white cuffs, I bow.

Is this love then, this red material
Issuing from the steele needle that flies so blindingly?
It will make little dresses and coats,

It will cover a dynasty.
How her body opens and shuts-
A Swiss watch, jeweled in the hinges!

O heart, such disorganization!
The stars are flashing like terrible numerals.
ABC, her eyelids say.

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from between the clouds [14 Jun 2005|02:13pm]

glass_doll
[ mood | touched ]

Among the Narcissi
-Sylvia Plath-


Spry, wry, and gray as these March sticks,
Percy bows, in his blue peajacket, among the narcissi.
He is recuperating from something on the lung.

The narcissi, too, are bowing to some big thing :
It rattles their stars on the green hill where Percy
Nurses the hardship of his stitches, and walks and walks.

There is a dignity to this; there is a formality-
The flowers vivid as bandages, and the man mending.
They bow and stand : they suffer such attacks!

And the octogenarian loves the little flocks.
He is quite blue; the terrible wind tries his breathing.
The narcissi look up like children, quickly and whitely.

1 comment|post comment

We know what we are, but not what we may be [14 Jun 2005|01:23am]

glass_doll
[ mood | thoughtful ]

The Thin People
-Sylvia Plath-



They are always with us, the thin people
Meager of dimension as the gray people

On a movie-screen. They
Are unreal, we say:

It was only in a movie, it was only
In a war making evil headlines when we

Were small that they famished and
Grew so lean and would not round

Out their stalky limbs again though peace
Plumped the bellies of the mice

Under the meanest table.
It was during the long hunger-battle

They found their talent to persevere
In thinness, to come, later,

Into our bad dreams, their menace
Not guns, not abuses,

But a thin silence.
Wrapped in flea-ridded donkey skins,

Empty of complaint, forever
Drinking vinegar from tin cups: they wore

The insufferable nimbus of the lot-drawn
Scapegoat. But so thin,

So weedy a race could not remain in dreams,
Could not remain outlandish victims

In the contracted country of the head
Any more than the old woman in her mud hut could

Keep from cutting fat meat
Out of the side of the generous moon when it

Set foot nightly in her yard
Until her knife had pared

The moon to a rind of little light.
Now the thin people do not obliterate

Themselves as the dawn
Grayness blues, reddens, and the outline

Of the world comes clear and fills with color.
They persist in the sunlit room: the wallpaper

Frieze of cabbage-roses and cornflowers pales
Under their thin-lipped smiles,

Their withering kingship.
How they prop each other up!

We own no wilderness rich and deep enough
For stronghold against their stiff

Battalions. See, how the tree boles flatten
And lose their good browns

If the thin people simply stand in the forest,
Making the world go thin as a wasp's nest

And grayer; not even moving their bones.

1 comment|post comment

No rest for the wicked [12 Jun 2005|03:40pm]

glass_doll
[ mood | tired ]




Aftermath

-Sylvia Plath-


Compelled by calamity's magnet
They loiter and stare as if the house
Burnt-out were theirs, or as if they thought
Some scandal might any minute ooze
From a smoke-choked closet into light;
No deaths, no prodigious injuries
Glut these hunters after an old meat,
Blood-spoor of the austere tragedies.

Mother Medea in a green smock
Moves humbly as any housewife through
Her ruined apartments, taking stock
Of charred shoes, the sodden upholstery:
Cheated of the pyre and the rack,
The crowd sucks her last tear and turns away.
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better than the life that you have [11 Jun 2005|01:07am]

glass_doll
[ mood | calm ]

Crossing the Water
-Sylvia Plath-



Black lake, black boat, two black, cut-paper people.
Where do the black trees go that drink here?
Their shadows must cover Canada.

A little light is filtering from the water flowers.
Their leaves do not wish us to hurry:
They are round and flat and full of dark advice.

Cold worlds shake from the oar.
The spirit of blackness is in us, it is in the fishes.
A snag is lifting a valedictory, pale hand;

Stars open among the lilies.
Are you not blinded by such expressionless sirens?
This is the silence of astounded souls.

6 comments|post comment

On this, a stormy night [10 Jun 2005|12:18am]

glass_doll
[ mood | thoughtful ]

Black Rook in Rainy Weather
-Sylvia Plath-



On the stiff twig up there
Hunches a wet black rook
Arranging and rearranging its feathers in the rain.
I do not expect a miracle
Or an accident

To set the sight on fire
In my eye, not seek
Any more in the desultory weather some design,
But let spotted leaves fall as they fall,
Without ceremony, or portent.

Although, I admit, I desire,
Occasionally, some backtalk
From the mute sky, I can't honestly complain:
A certain minor light may still
Leap incandescent

Out of the kitchen table or chair
As if a celestial burning took
Possession of the most obtuse objects now and then ---
Thus hallowing an interval
Otherwise inconsequent

By bestowing largesse, honor,
One might say love. At any rate, I now walk
Wary (for it could happen
Even in this dull, ruinous landscape); sceptical,
Yet politic; ignorant

Of whatever angel may choose to flare
Suddenly at my elbow. I only know that a rook
Ordering its black feathers can so shine
As to seize my senses, haul
My eyelids up, and grant

A brief respite from fear
Of total neutrality. With luck,
Trekking stubborn through this season
Of fatigue, I shall
Patch together a content

Of sorts. Miracles occur,
If you care to call those spasmodic
Tricks of radiance miracles. The wait's begun again,
The long wait for the angel.
For that rare, random descent.

3 comments|post comment

There is no talk of immortality among these! [08 Jun 2005|12:32am]

glass_doll
[ mood | weird ]

Apprehensions
-Sylvia Plath-


There is this white wall, above which the sky creates itself---
Infinite, green, utterly untouchable.
Angels swim in it, and the stars, in indifference also.
They are my medium.
The sun dissolves on this wall, bleeding its lights.

A gray wall now, clawed and bloody.
Is there no way out of the mind?
Steps at my back spiral into a well.
There are no trees or birds in this world,
There is only sourness.

This red wall winces continually :
A red fist, opening and closing,
Two gray, papery bags---
This is what I am made of , this and a terror
Of being wheeled off under crosses and a rain of pietas.

On a black wall, unidentifiable birds
Swivel thier heads and cry.
There is no talk of immortality among these!
Cold blanks approach us :
They move in a hurry.

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If only for today [03 Jun 2005|12:19am]

glass_doll
[ mood | uncomfortable ]

Childless Woman
-Sylvia Plath-

The womb
Rattles its pod, the moon
Discharges itself from the tree with nowhere to go.

My landscape is a hand with no lines,
The roads bunched to a knot,
The knot myself,

Myself the rose you acheive---
This body,
This ivory

Ungodly as a child's shriek.
Spiderlike, I spin mirrors,
Loyal to my image,

Uttering nothing but blood---
Taste it, dark red!
And my forest

My funeral,
And this hill and this
Gleaming with the mouths of corpses.

4 comments|post comment

[30 May 2005|10:08pm]

shiinamiaru
I thought that I could not be hurt

I thought that I could not be hurt;
I thought that I must surely be
impervious to suffering-
immune to pain
or agony.

My world was warm with April sun
my thoughts were spangled green and gold;
my soul filled up with joy, yet
felt the sharp, sweet pain that only joy
can hold.

My spirit soared above the gulls
that, swooping breathlessly so high
o'erhead, now seem to to brush their whir-
ring wings against the blue roof of
the sky.

(How frail the human heart must be-
a throbbing pulse, a trembling thing-
a fragile, shining instrument
of crystal, which can either weep,
or sing.)

Then, suddenly my world turned gray,
and darkness wiped aside my joy.
A dull and aching void was left
where careless hands had reached out to
destroy

my silver web of happiness.
The hands then stopped in wonderment,
for, loving me, they wept to see
the tattered ruins of my firma-
ment

(How frail the human heart must be-
a mirrored pool of thought. So deep
and tremulous an instrument
of glass that it can either sing,
or weep).
4 comments|post comment

Aquatic Nocturne [09 May 2005|11:54pm]
shinydiscoball
[ mood | ok ]

deep in liquid
turquoise slivers
of dilute light

quiver in thin streaks
of bright tinfoil
on mobile jet:

pale flounder
waver by
tilting silver:

in the shallows
agile minnows
flicker gilt:

grapeblue mussels
dilate lithe and
pliant valves:

dull lunar globes
of blubous jellyfish
glow milkgreen:

eels twirl
in wily spirals
on elusive tails:

adroir lobsters
amble darkly olive
on shrewd claws:

down where sound
comes blunt and wan
like the bronze tone
of a sunken gong.

1 comment|post comment

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