Goodbye, Sylvia

(Poem and reading both recorded in 2014, one on Sylvia Plath’s birthday anniversary, and the other on World Poetry Day. With no new material, I thought I would share them once more)

I’m sorry Sylvia, but on this day, the day we
revere you, the poet who could not be stopped
who could not be stopped, who wanted to go to her rest
and did. I loved you, you who were dead
when I was three days old,
wearing your gloves and best shoes.
I wanted to go, I wanted out, out of what
I saw as having no options at 17
And all I needed was for someone to tell me
There were choices, and then believe them–
That was the feat. At fifty-one
I do believe it now, and you in my ear
Talking about ‘daddy’ speaking of my daddy
that cruelty that knew no bounds
of that deep childhood well
the scars covering the bruises of my hell;
Your words, Sylvia, words that I’ve known since then
I thank you. Words that calmed and soothed me
when you, Emily, and Edward were my only friends;
words that urged me to give up, to lay over the tracks
with a worn New Testament in my hand, and you;
But today, I don’t need you to tell me life
Is not worth living. I’m turning off the reading–
I turn on a comedian, and laugh
a little out the side of my mouth, with effort;
Because I am not throwing my hand
No matter what you say.
***

Recording of ‘Daddy’ by Sylvia Plath

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