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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Sylvia Plath

Tomorrow is Sylvia Plath's birthday.  She was born in 1932 in Massachusetts.  She was a confessional poet and I read before that she would write a piece straight off and it would be complete to her.   Despite a suicide attempt while in college she graduated with honours from Smith and obtained a Fulbright scholarship to study in Cambridge.

At Cambridge she met the poet Ted Hughes whom she married and bore two children for.  The couple split in 1962.  It was one of the coldest winters in recent history and Plath's depression returned as she cared for her two very young children alone.  In early 1963 she committed suicide by placing her head in an oven and inhaling carbon monoxide fumes.  She was 30 years old.

Plath is remembered for her novel The Bell Jar, her first collection The Colossus and her posthumous collection Ariel.  Poems I like by her are Daddy, Lady Lazarus, Mirror and Morning Song.  My favourites by her are Blackberrying and Poppies in October.  There is something wonderful about some of her poems and I have a place in my heart for Plath though she makes me sad, she is like an old friend.  Happy birthday chick!

Poppies in October

By Sylvia Plath

Even the sun-clouds this morning cannot manage such skirts.
Nor the woman in the ambulance
Whose red heart blooms through her coat so astoundingly --

A gift, a love gift
Utterly unasked for
By a sky

Palely and flamily
Igniting its carbon monoxides, by eyes
Dulled to a halt under bowlers.

O my God, what am I
That these late mouths should cry open
In a forest of frost, in a dawn of cornflowers.

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