Sunday, February 10, 2013

And that was all she wrote

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.
Silvia Plath 


  1. I'm no SP expert but apparently this was her last poem, written six days before her death.

    Not long before that ... Lady Lazarus:

    Herr god, Herr Lucifer
    Beware Beware.
    Out of the ash
    I rise with my red hair
    And I eat men like air.

    1. I saw a movie about Sylvia. Interesting woman.

  2. There was a recording of her on British radio this morning, reading her poem on her dad, I think. She had a good voice.

  3. Its short and very bleak. death by suicide salving the failure of the mother, the moon indifferent yet a culprit all the same.

    I cheated of course and Googled the analysis. She worked on it, it's deliberate. She left it, some say, as a formal suicide note.

    Themes of motherhood as a poisoning of her children and the way to out-do the cruelty of life by defeating it through the perfection of deliberate death are immensely bleak.

    It's beautiful though, isn't it? Even though it's full of trouble and defeat, she dresses it in finery. Serenity at the gallows...

  4. I sort got all that through her poem, without the analysis but I didn't know it was something she'd worked on, or that it was essentially a suicide note. A lot of her poems could have been suicide notes (tho I can't dredge them up right now).
    I like Lady Lazarus very much.

  5. And yes ... it is beautiful. The last line is jarring.