All posts tagged: Sylvia Plath

‘Fugue’ and other poems by Chelsea Dingman

British Columbia Pastoral   September: almost snow. White sheets across the sky, the fields. How strange   the frost, feral over desert hills. Sage brush caught in the cattle’s   teeth. The river cuts a swath where I am trying to tell you about grass   that presses up through the ground without urging. About merciless suns   taking our eyes. You shield your mouth as I speak. The wars I won’t admit   like dying daisies, their corpses linting the grass. In summer, we swam in the Thompson   River. In feral heat. Baptized new again. The kites of our bodies cutting   a swath through green water. But as water rises in spring, it will take you   with it. With thawed glaciers & snow. With bones we can’t make smaller   once grown. Dead trees claw at rocks on the river- bottom, swollen belly   of a child rising up like a balloon in the April sun.   (Originally published in Sugar House Review)   Accident Report: After the Baby Dies at …

John Felstiner, a translation of ‘Todesfuge’ by Paul Celan

Black milk of daybreak we drink you at night/ we drink you at morning and midday we drink you at evening/ we drink and we drink/ A man lives in the house he plays with his vipers he writes/ he writes when it grows dark to Deutschland your golden hair Margareta/ Your ashen hair Shulamith we shovel a grave in the air where you won’t lie too cramped/   from  Todesfuge/ ST 2 in Paul Celan, Poet, Survivor, Jew . Author John Felstiner (Yale University Press, 2005 ) The above poem is excerpted from John Felstiner’s biography of Paul Celan, Paul Celan, Poet, Survivor, Jew (published 2005, Yale University Press).  I lived with the poem for a week in Mayo recently, where I transcribed it a number of times in order to get to its music.  During my transcriptions, I came across another rendering of the poem on YouTube, which I am adding here.  The Youtube reading is by Gerald Duffy. I am unhappy with the recording, possibly because I think it is read too fast, and maybe in this case some of the …

A link to a VIDA conversation with poet Jane Hirshfield.

“I discovered sexism’s glass walls—which do exist still, to a shocking degree—later rather than earlier. A great blessing, that belatedness. As a young person, I felt the world’s heritage of art and literature was mine to forage.” (Jane Hirshfield) This week’s blog post contains just two small links because family duties had called me away from  my desk . Whilst I was away I got totally enraptured by Paul Celan‘s Todesfuge, translated by John  Felstiner, which I am writing about elsewhere. For today I am adding a discussion document about  Women and Poetry which  is related to two published posts here at Poethead. I am also adding my  review of the moth magazine’s little editions , from the Writing.ie site. To preface my first excerpt and link, I want to say  that the VIDA interview resonated with me in relation to a  letter by Anne Hays which I published in January of 2011. The letter has been hit 4,819 times , it details a lack in women’s literary publication which I can only describe as a deadener. I am adding the letter here .  I thought to …

“Chorus of the Rescued” by Nelly Sachs

We, the rescued, From whose hollow bones death had begun to whittle his flutes, And on whose sinews he had already stroked his bow— Our bodies continue to lament With their mutilated music.   We, the rescued, The nooses would for our necks still dangle Before us the blue air— Hourglasses still fill with out dripping blood.   We, the rescued, The worms of fear still feed on us. Our constellation is buried in dust.   We, the rescued, Beg you: Show us your sun…. but gradually. Lead us from star to star, step by step. Be gentle when you teach us to live again. Lest the song of a bird, Or a pail being filled at the well, Let our badly sealed pain burst forth again And carry us away— We beg you: Do not show us any angry dog, not yet— It could be, it could be That we will dissolve into dust— Dissolve into dust before your eyes. For what binds our fabric together?   We whose breath vacated us, Whose soul …

A Saturday Woman Poet, Eavan Boland.

Whilst reading the Chris Agee edited Poetry (October – November 1995), I happened upon the truly beautiful Mother Ireland, penned by Eavan Boland. I am adding a Boston Globe interview (excerpted) and Eavan Boland link, entitled Exploring Poetry’s ‘Lesser Space‘ to the blog as this week’s Saturday Woman Poet , which is becoming a regular item on the blog. I have included the links to the Saturday Woman Poet archive and tag-set alongside other related links. The interview is companion to a post that I re-blogged this week , entitled Female Complexities, Dorothy Molloy and fits neatly into the theme of intimacy in writing, as opposed to the monumental writ upon a large-scale canvas poetry beloved of politicians and other uncreative people.  Sylvia Plath referred to this celebration of the small, the real and the domestic as a writing of the thinginess of things, the exploration of  poetic voice grounded in objects. It is most visible in the final poem of her Ariel sequence, Wintering. I have linked both of  these aforementioned posts on Plath and Molloy at the base of this post. …