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 Poet Tribute: Sylvia Plath - April 1st - 6th

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ApocalypticJay

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PostSubject: Poet Tribute: Sylvia Plath - April 1st - 6th   April 1st 2013, 10:05 am

**Happy National Poetry Month**


In celebration of National Poetry Month, every 6 days in April we will introduce (or re-introduce) you to a Famous poet, and invite you to attempt to write in their approximate style as a tribute!

April 1-6 Sylvia Plath
April 7-12 Federico García Lorca
April 13-18 W.B Yeats
April 19-24 Dr Seuss
April 25-30 Seamus Heaney


April 1st - 6th Sylvia Plath




• Born: October 27, 1932, Boston - Died: February 11, 1963, London
• Most notable for the novel The Bell Jar and Ariel (Poetry)
• Well known for marrying fellow poet Ted Hughes.
• A long term sufferer of depression which is said to have lead to her suicide.
• Her most famous and most effective poems are probably Daddy and Lady Lazarus.
• She was also a close friends with fellow poet Anne Sexton.

The thing I love personally about Plath is how she takes things from everyday life and brings broad and extensive emotion into it. She’s raw, bold and often writes with a fury unmatched by female poets around at her time. I find she’s a huge inspiration for aspiring poets who suffer from depression and I still see her in the works of people I read to this day. She was an inspiration to feminist movements and gave fame to the use of confessional poetry.

Plath’s confessional style of poetry has a depth of passion that leads you to the sharp edges of your senses, cutting your feet as you stand on the cliff of wild and uncensored emotions.

Here is a sample of her finest work:

Daddy

You do not do, you do not do
Any more, black shoe
In which I have lived like a foot
For thirty years, poor and white,
Barely daring to breathe or Achoo.

Daddy, I have had to kill you.
You died before I had time--
Marble-heavy, a bag full of God,
Ghastly statue with one gray toe
Big as a Frisco seal

And a head in the freakish Atlantic
Where it pours bean green over blue
In the waters off beautiful Nauset.
I used to pray to recover you.
Ach, du.

In the German tongue, in the Polish town
Scraped flat by the roller
Of wars, wars, wars.
But the name of the town is common.
My Polack friend

Says there are a dozen or two.
So I never could tell where you
Put your foot, your root,
I never could talk to you.
The tongue stuck in my jaw.

It stuck in a barb wire snare.
Ich, ich, ich, ich,
I could hardly speak.
I thought every German was you.
And the language obscene

An engine, an engine
Chuffing me off like a Jew.
A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen.
I began to talk like a Jew.
I think I may well be a Jew.

The snows of the Tyrol, the clear beer of Vienna
Are not very pure or true.
With my gipsy ancestress and my weird luck
And my Taroc pack and my Taroc pack
I may be a bit of a Jew.

I have always been scared of you,
With your Luftwaffe, your gobbledygoo.
And your neat mustache
And your Aryan eye, bright blue.
Panzer-man, panzer-man, O You--

Not God but a swastika
So black no sky could squeak through.
Every woman adores a Fascist,
The boot in the face, the brute
Brute heart of a brute like you.

You stand at the blackboard, daddy,
In the picture I have of you,
A cleft in your chin instead of your foot
But no less a devil for that, no not
Any less the black man who

Bit my pretty red heart in two.
I was ten when they buried you.
At twenty I tried to die
And get back, back, back to you.
I thought even the bones would do.

But they pulled me out of the sack,
And they stuck me together with glue.
And then I knew what to do.
I made a model of you,
A man in black with a Meinkampf look

And a love of the rack and the screw.
And I said I do, I do.
So daddy, I'm finally through.
The black telephone's off at the root,
The voices just can't worm through.

If I've killed one man, I've killed two--
The vampire who said he was you
And drank my blood for a year,
Seven years, if you want to know.
Daddy, you can lie back now.

There's a stake in your fat black heart
And the villagers never liked you.
They are dancing and stamping on you.
They always knew it was you.
Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I'm through.

By Sylvia Plath

~


This week, we invite you to write a Poetic Tribute poem in the style of Sylvia Plath. Some things to consider when writing in Plath’s style are her deliberate and heavy use of metaphor, solid and effective imagery, and also her strength when defining emotion in her poetry. Have fun, I will enjoy reading what you have to offer.


Take the red pill, stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.
  • a·poc·a·lyp·tic /əˌpäkəˈliptik/ Adjective:
  • .Describing or prophesying the complete destruction of the world.
  • .Resembling the end of the world; momentous or catastrophic.
Please comment on at least two pieces of original poetry that are not your own before posting a poem. Thank you.
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ladylilith

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PostSubject: Re: Poet Tribute: Sylvia Plath - April 1st - 6th   April 2nd 2013, 9:26 am

From The Bell Jar

I was a muted sound,
Raging against your palms
that carefully encased me-
No gaps, no chance for a whisper
to slip through a splinter of light.
In this vacuum, this bell jar,
I am tightly trapped.
A hand on each cheek,
There is nothing more
splitting than being forced
to look at your smiling face.

A plump, pliable visage
as you work my mouth
into puckered pout and then
a pulled back grin. Backwards
and forward, you move my flesh
about as though there were
nothing on the other side,
Screaming into the silent glass
for release, or death, or something
just as exciting. Anything
would be welcome, other than the slow
pressure of your palming glory
against my face. Unsmiling.

I can't be cupped or caressed
much longer, the clay will set
along with your jaw and that is when
I will fear the cracks.
Take your hands off me, while I am still
malleable and maybe we can
call it a mistake, strained but smiling.


Winning goldfish at the fair was SO last year...
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ApocalypticJay

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PostSubject: Re: Poet Tribute: Sylvia Plath - April 1st - 6th   April 2nd 2013, 1:28 pm

Lily - There is such a stark sense of suffocation to this poem. That forced kissed leaves the reader feeling uncomfortable, almost like a rape scene of the heart and then in the ending there is... not forgiveness but a want to call it off and call it quits and never speak of it again. The subtilties in this piece and metaphorical use of the bell jar as restriction are excellent and the forceful and bold nature of the imagery gave that Plath-esque style to it perfectly. Really impressive tribute even if the depth of the piece carved a little emptiness into my heart, it's worth it to read great poetry.

Exalt.


Take the red pill, stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.
  • a·poc·a·lyp·tic /əˌpäkəˈliptik/ Adjective:
  • .Describing or prophesying the complete destruction of the world.
  • .Resembling the end of the world; momentous or catastrophic.
Please comment on at least two pieces of original poetry that are not your own before posting a poem. Thank you.
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Jamie

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PostSubject: Re: Poet Tribute: Sylvia Plath - April 1st - 6th   April 2nd 2013, 1:34 pm

Lily--damn.

Now that's what a Tribute should be like. Full force, uncensored and shattering emotion, like the initial post describes her style. Exalt from me as well.


Please reply to 2 poems for each original piece that you post. Taking time to read others' work and leave them comments encourages them to do the same, keeping the forums active & interactive.

Cavalry Scream Chicken
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ApocalypticJay

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PostSubject: Re: Poet Tribute: Sylvia Plath - April 1st - 6th   April 2nd 2013, 2:38 pm

Damaged

Why can’t I wear black?
Black silken heart for a black tongue,
spitting Cimmerian miasma in cold
worthless air, why should I stomach
the bile that writhes in my belly,
biting back the lash of bitterness.

You screwed my heart with cold nails,
glacial stones thrown hard at my chest
burying them deep into a chasm once red,
now black, so why should I seek white?
A flailing flag of yielding suffocation,
still I bite back, sucking black, black blood.

Walking with doe legs and seeking with
doe eyes, clinging with unkempt fingers
to my brazen equilibrium, fluorescent
warmth and heartbeats whistling like soft
hymnals in a clement ambience.
You tore down the shoals of lily-white.

Still I paint my walls pale canescent,
a fleeting defeat for the forthright fool.
Cervine girl, go play in a child’s forestry
for your innocence has been played to death;
now you chew down stale berries and spit-out
brusque egocentric reveries, stains the bleached.

So why can’t I wear black?
If it’s easy for the pure to be pure no more,
why can’t I be numb, nonchalant, narcissistic
like the black coal pieces of you!
Like your remorseless tepid heart!
Like you forget I ever saved you.



A/N Originally I had something different written but I wanted something more fitting with both our experiences.


Take the red pill, stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.
  • a·poc·a·lyp·tic /əˌpäkəˈliptik/ Adjective:
  • .Describing or prophesying the complete destruction of the world.
  • .Resembling the end of the world; momentous or catastrophic.
Please comment on at least two pieces of original poetry that are not your own before posting a poem. Thank you.
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ladylilith

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PostSubject: Re: Poet Tribute: Sylvia Plath - April 1st - 6th   April 2nd 2013, 2:57 pm

@Jay - That's a powerful use of language. Guttural even, in the way that this growls out. I thought you took on a very Plathian (yep, that's a word now) style, making use of a simply put diction that alludes to so much more. I can tell you've done your reading, and let it sink in, and then synthesise with your own style. Exalt!


Winning goldfish at the fair was SO last year...
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