Dakota Fanning reading the 1996 Harper paperback edition of Ariel on set of the movie Very Good Girls in July 2012
I’m not sure if this was a private read or if the book will be featured in the movie, if so, we can add it to our “Sylvia Plath referenced in pop culture” list as soon as the movie will be available. ;)
Sylvia Plath’s Ariel
Part of London Lit Festival 13
Belvedere Rd, London SE1 8XX, United Kingdom
Sunday 26 May 2013, 7:30pm
You can book your tickets here!
Prices £25 £20 £15 £10
Booking Fee £1.75 (Members £0.00)
Concessions 50% off (Limited Availability)
"Sylvia Plath died 50 years ago leaving a black binder of poems that was to become her final, posthumously published collection, Ariel.
Now 40 leading female poets and performers read one poem each from the restored edition of the final unedited manuscript in an evening introduced by Plath’s daughter, Frieda Hughes.
The readers are - Maureen Beattie, Emily Berry, Lily Bevan, Samantha Bond, Emily Bruni, Kirsty Bushell, Anna Chancellor, Gillian Clarke, Julia Copus, Claire-Louise Cordwell, Imtiaz Dharker, Amanda Drew, Noma Dumezweni, Ruth Fainlight, Kate Fahy, Vicki Feaver, Deborah Findlay, Stella Gonet, Haydn Gwynne, Victoria Hamilton, Anastasia Hille, Joan Iyiola, Phyllis Logan, Amy McAllister, Lizzy McInnerny, Pamela Miles, Amy Morgan, Tracy-Ann Oberman, Siobhan Redmond, Miranda Richardson, Jo Shapcott, Jean Sprackland, Gerda Stevenson, Juliet Stevenson, Harriet Walter, and Susan Wooldridge.
'In these poems… Sylvia Plath becomes herself, becomes something imaginary, newly, wildly and subtly created.' (Robert Lowell)”
One of my favorite Plath quotes…
Viciousness in the kitchen!
The potatoes hiss.
It is all Hollywood, windowless,
The fluorescent light wincing on and off like a terrible migraine,
Coy paper strips for doors —
Stage curtains, a widow’s frizz.
And I, love, am a pathological liar,
And my child — look at her, face down on the floor,
Little unstrung puppet, kicking to disappear —
Why she is schizophrenic,
Her face is red and white, a panic,
You have stuck her kittens outside your window
In a sort of cement well
Where they crap and puke and cry and she can’t hear.
You say you can’t stand her,
The bastard’s a girl.
You who have blown your tubes like a bad radio
Clear of voices and history, the staticky
Noise of the new.
You say I should drown the kittens. Their smell!
You say I should drown my girl.
She’ll cut her throat at ten if she’s mad at two.
The baby smiles, fat snail,
From the polished lozenges of orange linoleum.
You could eat him. He’s a boy.
You say your husband is just no good to you.
His Jew-Mama guards his sweet sex like a pearl.
You have one baby, I have two.
I should sit on a rock off Cornwall and comb my hair.
I should wear tiger pants, I should have an affair.
We should meet in another life, we should meet in air,
Me and you.
Meanwhile there’s a stink of fat and baby crap.
I’m doped and thick from my last sleeping pill.
The smog of cooking, the smog of hell
Floats our heads, two venemous opposites,
Our bones, our hair.
I call you Orphan, orphan. You are ill.
The sun gives you ulcers, the wind gives you T.B.
Once you were beautiful.
In New York, in Hollywood, the men said: ‘Through?
Gee baby, you are rare.’
You acted, acted for the thrill.
The impotent husband slumps out for a coffee.
I try to keep him in,
An old pole for the lightning,
The acid baths, the skyfuls off of you.
He lumps it down the plastic cobbled hill,
Flogged trolley. The sparks are blue.
The blue sparks spill,
Splitting like quartz into a million bits.
O jewel! O valuable!
That night the moon
Dragged its blood bag, sick
Up over the harbor lights.
And then grew normal,
Hard and apart and white.
The scale-sheen on the sand scared me to death.
We kept picking up handfuls, loving it,
Working it like dough, a mulatto body,
The silk grits.
A dog picked up your doggy husband. He went on.
Now I am silent, hate
Up to my neck,
I do not speak.
I am packing the hard potatoes like good clothes,
I am packing the babies,
I am packing the sick cats.
O vase of acid,
It is love you are full of. You know who you hate.
He is hugging his ball and chain down by the gate
That opens to the sea
Where it drives in, white and black,
Then spews it back.
Every day you fill him with soul-stuff, like a pitcher.
You are so exhausted.
Your voice my ear-ring,
Flapping and sucking, blood-loving bat.
That is that. That is that.
You peer from the door,
Sad hag. ‘Every woman’s a whore.
I can’t communicate.’
I see your cute décor
Close on you like the fist of a baby
Or an anemone, that sea
Sweetheart, that kleptomaniac.
I am still raw.
I say I may be back.
You know what lies are for.
Even in your Zen heaven we shan’t meet.
—written 16 October 1962
“I do not fear it: I have been there.” - Elm by Sylvia Plath
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,
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,
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 radience scathes me. Or perhaps I have caught her.
I let her go. I let her go
Diminshed 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 irretrevables?
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.
—written 19 April 1962
Clownlike, happiest on your hands,
Feet to the stars, and moon-skulled,
Gilled like a fish. A common-sense
Thumbs-down on the dodo’s mode.
Wrapped up in yourself like a spool,
Trawling your dark as owls do.
Mute as a turnip from the Fourth
Of July to All Fools’ Day,
O high-riser, my little loaf.
Vague as fog and looked for like mail.
Farther off than Australia.
Bent-backed Atlas, our traveled prawn.
Snug as a bud and at home
Like a sprat in a pickle jug.
A creel of eels, all ripples.
Jumpy as a Mexican bean.
Right, like a well-done sum.
A clean slate, with your own face on.
This is Adrienne’s tattoo.
Sylvia Plath was has been my favorite writer since I began high school and was my fist true encounter to poetry. I thought it only right to commemorate her talent with a line of her poetry I think truly exemplifies who she was as a writer.
I have done it again.
One year in every ten
I manage it—
A sort of walking miracle, my skin
Bright as a Nazi lampshade,
My right foot
My face a featureless, fine
Peel off the napkin
O my enemy.
Do I terrify?—
The nose, the eye pits, the full set of teeth?
The sour breath
Will vanish in a day.
Soon, soon the flesh
The grave cave ate will be
At home on me
And I a smiling woman.
I am only thirty.
And like the cat I have nine times to die.
This is Number Three.
What a trash
To annihilate each decade.
What a million filaments.
The peanut-crunching crowd
Shoves in to see
Them unwrap me hand and foot—
The big strip tease.
These are my hands
I may be skin and bone,
Nevertheless, I am the same, identical woman.
The first time it happened I was ten.
It was an accident.
The second time I meant
To last it out and not come back at all.
I rocked shut
As a seashell.
They had to call and call
And pick the worms off me like sticky pearls.
Is an art, like everything else.
I do it exceptionally well.
I do it so it feels like hell.
I do it so it feels real.
I guess you could say I’ve a call.
It’s easy enough to do it in a cell.
It’s easy enough to do it and stay put.
It’s the theatrical
Comeback in broad day
To the same place, the same face, the same brute
That knocks me out.
There is a charge
For the eyeing of my scars, there is a charge
For the hearing of my heart—
It really goes.
And there is a charge, a very large charge
For a word or a touch
Or a bit of blood
Or a piece of my hair or my clothes.
So, so, Herr Doktor.
So, Herr Enemy.
I am your opus,
I am your valuable,
The pure gold baby
That melts to a shriek.
I turn and burn.
Do not think I underestimate your great concern.
You poke and stir.
Flesh, bone, there is nothing there—
A cake of soap,
A wedding ring,
A gold filling.
Herr God, Herr Lucifer
Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair
And I eat men like air.
23-29 October 1962
And like the cat I have nine times to die.-Lady Lazarus, Sylvia Plath
Brand new tattoo. My favorite Sylvia Plath poem.
I think Sylvia Plath would have totally enjoyed a cake like this for her birthday! :)
I got a tattoo the other day :)
“I am I am I am” from The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. The text is in Sylvia Plath’s handwriting from her other book, Ariel.
This is beautiful <3
Oooops! Somehow the photo reply wasn’t working (or maybe it did, because I swear, I’ve seen more pic than that one by http://overdosebabyblue.tumblr.com/, but all the other ones are gone!? boooho :( ), so I figured I’ll try again! You can also send me a link to your pic in a message (via http://lovingsylvia.tumblr.com/ask ) or an email to email@example.com
I’ll be also extending the contest till December 24, 2010 :)
So, SHOW ME YOUR BELL JAR’S!!!! (Don’t just like the post, take a pic and send it over!!) ;)
And Unabridged Journals, Letters Home, Ariels, Collected Poems, Colossuses, Johnny Panics, biographies… etc etc etc… every Sylvia Plath book, primary and secondary literature you own or read at the moment… you love or hate… all together in one pic or a separate pic for every book, whatever you like… be creative… no self-doubts ;)
One condition… don’t take just a picture of the book(s), be in them too… your face, your eyes, your hands… it’s up to you…
Take your pic and post it as a photo reply to this post and when I’m back, I’m gonna make a contest with a tiny Christmas Giveaway ;)