Thursday, March 16, 2006


I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.
Whatever I see I swallow immediately.
Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike.
I am not cruel, only truthful-
The eye of a little god, four cornered.
Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall.
It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long
I think it is part of my heart. But it flickers.
Faces and darkness separate us over and over.

Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me,
Searching my reaches for what she really is.
Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.
I see her back, and reflect it faithfully.
She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands.
I am important to her. She comes and goes.
Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness.
In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman
Rises towards her day after day, like a terrible fish.

Sylvia Plath~ 23 October 1961

My good friend Jennifer gave me the book The Collected Poems of Sylvia Plath for Christmas my senior year of high school. I had never read her work before and didn't know anything about her. So, I made a cup of tea, sat down to read, and fell in love. I have been in love with her writing, her energy and returned to read her frequently ever since. I have read interviews she gave and many of her works, so much of what she says really resonates with me. I feel a connection to her, a relation to some of her life experiences, a kinship of sorts. Mildly concerning as she committed suicide at 30. :)

I am sure many of you are familiar with her work all ready, especially after the movie made about her relationship with Ted Hughes, but if not this may encourage you to find a wonderful poet and an extraordinary woman.


Blogger la vie en rose said...

oh yes! i have some of her poetry and i also have read her journals. a remarkable woman who lived such a very short life. but her voice and her spirit can't be quenched.

12:11 PM  
Blogger Bohemian Girl said...

you know...i've been wanting to see this movie for so long. thank you for reminding me.

beautiful poetry.

i know when i watch it, i will think of you because not only will i understand your love for her poetry but Gwenyth Paltrow has always made me think of you!

love you, girlfriend.


3:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excuse the gush are so freakin' cool. Thanks for reminding me of one of my favorite poets...I've always wanted to "eat men like air." ;) Her journals are on my "to be read" pile...I'm sure she'll have an interesting perspective on the motherhood/writing path.

And my heavens, your dresses are gorgeous.

7:05 PM  
Blogger liz elayne said...

oh this poem is wondrous. thank you for sharing it today (poetry on a thursday - love it).
I am adding this book to my list to check out from the library...

how i love coming here to discover something new.

9:15 PM  
Blogger RavenGrrl said...

Letha and Liz and everyone else, I would like to say something I've been thinking about as I read the poems you have all put on your blogs today:

What I've discovered in the short time we bloggers have been sharing Poetry Thursdays ... is that it doesn't matter how familiar I am with a particular poet or a poem ... because finding it on someone's blog, finding it highlighted and lovingly shared like this reminds makes it all new for me. It reminds me of what I liked about the poem in the first place -- and even more than that: it reminds me of the connections between words and meaning. The strands that connect one person to another across continents and oceans and lives. The connections between the past (when some of these poems were written) and today - to what we are doing today. Those things are all part of every poem. It doesn't matter if it's a poem I read every day or have never read.

When we share these poems, even if we share one that someone else has already put out there on a Thursday, then we are making connections between us, too.

I also see the poem differently because you have chosen it, so it says something about you too. That's what's so cool about offering to others what we love about poetry.

Okay i guess i'm in a verbose mood tonight. I'll shut up now. Thanks for this poem, though Letha - it's a good one for sure. :)

10:43 PM  
Blogger megg said...

I was a little nervous to read Plath when I was younger - she seemed too real, too open for me when I was frightened of myself. I wonder if now is the time to meet her properly. thank you for the introduction!!

1:45 AM  
Blogger yaya said...

I read "The Bell Jar" when I was 16 and it just spoke to me. I studied her through Uni and she has followed me through every stage of my life. I haven't thought about her for a long time- thank you for the reminder.

8:35 PM  

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