Tuesday, May 22, 2012

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,
its dissatisfactions?
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,
echoing, echoing.

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 radiance scathes me. or perhaps i have caught her.

i let her go. i let her go
diminished 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 irretrievables?
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

~ sylvia plath

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