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20 Temmuz 2010 Salı

Words by Sylvia Plath

After whose stroke the wood rings, 
And the echoes! 
Echoes traveling 
Off from the center like horses. 

The sap 
Wells like tears, like the 
Water striving 
To re-establish its mirror 
Over the rock 

That drops and turns, 
A white skull, 
Eaten by weedy greens. 
Years later I 
Encounter them on the road--- 

Words dry and riderless, 
The indefatigable hoof-taps. 
From the bottom of the pool, fixed stars 
Govern a life.

18 Temmuz 2010 Pazar

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Elm by Sylvia Plath

for Ruth Fainlight

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.

Edge by Sylvia Plath

The woman is perfected
Her dead

Body wears the smile of accomplishment,
The illusion of a Greek necessity

Flows in the scrolls of her toga,
Her bare

Feet seem to be saying:
We have come so far, it is over.

Each dead child coiled, a white serpent,
One at each little

Pitcher of milk, now empty
She has folded

Them back into her body as petals
Of a rose close when the garden

Stiffens and odors bleed
From the sweet, deep throats of the night flower.

The moon has nothing to be sad about,
Staring from her hood of bone.

She is used to this sort of thing.
Her blacks crackle and drag.

Death&Co by Sylvia Plath

Two, of course there are two.
It seems perfectly natural now——
The one who never looks up, whose eyes are lidded
And balled¸ like Blake's.
Who exhibits

The birthmarks that are his trademark——
The scald scar of water,
The nude
Verdigris of the condor.
I am red meat. His beak

Claps sidewise: I am not his yet.
He tells me how badly I photograph.
He tells me how sweet
The babies look in their hospital
Icebox, a simple

Frill at the neck
Then the flutings of their Ionian
Then two little feet.
He does not smile or smoke.

The other does that
His hair long and plausive
Masturbating a glitter
He wants to be loved.

I do not stir.
The frost makes a flower,
The dew makes a star,
The dead bell,
The dead bell.

Somebody's done for.

Mystic by Sylvia Plath

The air is a mill of hooks----
Questions without answer,
Glittering and drunk as flies
Whose kiss stings unbearably
In the fetid wombs of black air under pines in summer.

I remember
The dead smell of sun on wood cabins,
The stiffness of sails, the long salt winding sheets.
Once one has seen God, what is the remedy?
Once one has been seized up

Without a part left over,
Not a toe, not a finger, and used,
Used utterly, in the sun's conflagration, the stains
That lengthen from ancient cathedrals
What is the remedy?

The pill of the Communion tablet,
The walking beside still water? Memory?
Or picking up the bright pieces
Of Christ in the faces of rodents,
The tame flower-nibblers, the ones

Whose hopes are so low they are comfortable-----
The humpback in his small, washed cottage
Under the spokes of the clematis.
Is there no great love, only tenderness?
Does the sea

Remember the walker upon it?
Meaning leaks from the molecules.
The chimneys of the city breathe, the window sweats,
The children leap in their cots.
The sun blooms, it is a geranium.

The heart has not stopped.

Vanity Fair by Sylvia Plath

Through frost-thick weather
This witch sidles, fingers crooked, as if
Caught in a hazardous medium that might 
Merely by its continuing
Attach her to heaven.

At eye's envious corner
Crow's-feet copy veining on a stained leaf;
Cold squint steals sky's color; while bruit
Of bells calls holy ones, her tongue
Backtalks at the raven

Claeving furred air
Over her skull's midden; no knife
Rivals her whetted look, divining what conceit
Waylays simple girls, church-going,
And what heart's oven

Craves most to cook batter
Rich in strayings with every amorous oaf,
Ready, for a trinket,
To squander owl-hours on bracken bedding,
Flesh unshriven.

Against virgin prayer
This sorceress sets mirrors enough
To distract beauty's thought;
Lovesick at first fond song,
Each vain girl's driven

To believe beyond heart's flare
No fire is, nor in any book proof
Sun hoists soul up after lids fall shut;
So she wills all to the black king.
The worst sloven

Vies with best queen over
Right to blaze as satan's wife;
Housed in earth, those million brides shriek out.
Some burn short, some long,
Staked in pride's coven.