Monday, October 27, 2008
It's the birthday of the poet Sylvia Plath, (books by this author) born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1932. From the time she was a kid, she wanted to be a successful poet. She went to Smith, where she struggled with bipolar disorder, and attempted suicide. But she won a Fulbright Scholarship to England. And in England she met another poet, Ted Hughes, and they got married and had two children. Then her husband left her for another woman, and her depression came back in force. The winter after he left, she wrote almost all the poems that would eventually become the book Ariel (1965). She was seized with creative energy, and she wrote feverishly, completing several poems in the early morning before her kids woke up.
In 1963, she published a novel, The Bell Jar, and two weeks later she committed suicide. Sylvia Plath said, "Everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise."
Frog Autumn by Sylvia Plath
Summer grows old, cold-blooded mother.
The insects are scant, skinny.
In these palustral homes we only
Croak and wither.
Mornings dissipate in somnolence.
The sun brightens tardily
Among the pithless reeds. Flies fail us.
The fen sickens.
Frost drops even the spider. Clearly
The genius of plenitude
Houses himself elsewhwere. Our folk thin