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Love Letter -- Sylvia Plath

Guest poem submitted by Anustup Datta:
(Poem #612) Love Letter
 Not easy to state the change you made.
 If I'm alive now, then I was dead,
 Though, like a stone, unbothered by it,
 Staying put according to habit.
 You didn't just tow me an inch, no-
 Nor leave me to set my small bald eye
 Skyward again, without hope, of course,
 Of apprehending blueness, or stars.

 That wasn't it. I slept, say: a snake
 Masked among black rocks as a black rock
 In the white hiatus of winter-
 Like my neighbors, taking no pleasure
 In the million perfectly-chiseled
 Cheeks alighting each moment to melt
 My cheeks of basalt. They turned to tears,
 Angels weeping over dull natures,

 But didn't convince me. Those tears froze.
 Each dead head had a visor of ice.
 And I slept on like a bent finger.
 The first thing I was was sheer air
 And the locked drops rising in dew
 Limpid as spirits. Many stones lay
 Dense and expressionless round about.
 I didn't know what to make of it.
 I shone, mice-scaled, and unfolded
 To pour myself out like a fluid
 Among bird feet and the stems of plants.

 I wasn't fooled. I knew you at once.
 Tree and stone glittered, without shadows.
 My finger-length grew lucent as glass.
 I started to bud like a March twig:
 An arm and a leg, and arm, a leg.
 From stone to cloud, so I ascended.
 Now I resemble a sort of god
 Floating through the air in my soul-shift
 Pure as a pane of ice. It's a gift.
-- Sylvia Plath
A very different sort of love poem, but great reading nevertheless. I like
the beautiful matter-of-fact way in which Plath attempts to describe the
tumultuous love of her life - as though she were a dispassionate observer
looking at the wondrous changes in herself from the outside. It is as though
her love is so intense that it would sweep away all her reason (and rhyme)
if she gave way to it. Hence the documentary style carefully repressing
emotion, which shines through doubly reinforced because of this very
restraint. The last sentence is magical:

        Now I resemble a sort of god
        Floating through the air in my soul-shift
        Pure as a pane of ice. It's a gift.


32 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Anonymous said...

Awwee Dys pOem Is sO Sweet. ILovEThiS pOem

viagra online said...

I like this poem because it refers to love and I'm a sentimental person when I read this poem I almost cried because the feeling I got was really big, I'd like to get more like this one.m10m

Jennifer said...

this one made my heart hurt

Anonymous said...

I'd say it's not a simple love poem, but the love of a baby towards its mother. (I slept on like a bent finger.) and the last sentence "It's a gift" - the life the mother gave to it is the gift and the child is grateful for it.

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