Wednesday, June 10, 2009

for silvia plath (20)

for silvia plath

the tulips are too red in the first place, they hurt me.
even through the gift paper i could hear them breathe
through their white swaddlings, like an awful baby..
from "tulips"

when one bleeds freshly from a flesh wound,
platelets in the blood conspire with threads of
fibrin to bind & stick; to clot & keep more
blood & stuff from bleeding out. that clot dries,
gets hard; grows crusty & dark, keeps infection
at bay, gives healing a chance. if one picks &
pulls at the scab, the repair will be undone;
the wound will take longer to heal. when u bled
from yr numerous heart wounds, silvia, the scabs
were slow to form & easily ripped open again,
allowing those wounds to fester, suppurate &
putrefy; requiring not the angst-driven surgical
dissections of yr personal pain in the terse prosody,
sing-song repetitive phrasing, & violent imagery of
yr confessional poetry. what they required was
the sweet soothing salves of fairness, acceptance,
forgiveness & release. thus were yr gifts sullied.
yr poetic voice, the anguished wail of a withering,
suffering spirit that found no surcease. u applied
yr talents to murderous art, to bloodless vivisection
& unwrote yr own tenuous life by falling on the
the gleaming, toothy knife points of yr verse.

©Joseph McNair; 2009


  1. I like how the poem relates to a broken heart.

  2. That is true , but there are wound that take years to heal. Fortunately, time is a good friend that heals anything.

  3. i like the way you incorporate the human anatomy as imagery, nicely done, thejv approves this poem.

  4. I never had a broken heart but it turth waht you said about a wound. I did have wound that today are still try to heal beacauce i still pick and pull my suabs and it is very hard for me to stop.

  5. It is unfortunate that so many of the confessional poets took their own lives. Silvia Plaths suicide attempts drew a lot of attention. You seem to be less than sympathetic to her "pain on paper."