Monday, March 2, 2009

Sylvia Plath

There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them.

-Sylvia Plath

This quote surprised me. There was a part of her that found solace in a bath, although the brilliant clutter in her mind won out in the end......


It is no night to drown in:
A full moon, river lapsing
Black beneath bland mirror-sheen,

The blue water-mists dropping
Scrim after scrim like fishnets
Though fishermen are sleeping,

The massive castle turrets
Doubling themselves in a glass
All stillness. Yet these shapes float

Up toward me, troubling the face
Of quiet. From the nadir
They rise, their limbs ponderous

With richness, hair heavier
Than sculptured marble. They sing
Of a world more full and clear

Than can be. Sisters, your song
Bears a burden too weighty
For the whorled ear's listening

Here, in a well-steered country,
Under a balanced ruler
Deranged by harmony

Beyond the mundane order,
Your voices lay siege. You lodge
On the pitched reefs of nightmare.

Promising sure harborage;
By day, descant from borders
Of hebetude, from the ledge

Also of high windows. Worse
Even than your maddening
Song, your silence. At the source

Of your ice-hearted calling --
Drunkenness of the great depths.
O river, I see drifting

Deep in your flux of silver
Those great goddesses of peace.
Stone, stone, ferry me down there.

-Sylvia Plath

Art: Bathroom Scene, Lisbeth, 1909 by Carl Larsson


arlene joy said...

hmmm- sylvia plath is truly amazing.

Anonymous said...

That is interesting to know about Plath - she seemed like such an angst-driven character. And I agree - hot baths are soul-satisfying.

Mark said...


Lydia said...

@Arlene Joy- Yes, she is. Thanks for being here; I just visited your blog and had a good time there.

@Citizen of the World- It was unexpected to find that she had, even in some small ways, tried to soothe all that angst.

@Mark- Well, thank you...and mostly thanks to Plath and Larsson. :)

Carlos Lorenzo said...

I must confess I didn't know about her and speaking about things or people you don't know it is a bad idea. I did like the style and the content of the poem. And of course I agree that there are few things a hot bath can't cure.

Lydia said...

@Carlos- Heaven knows you have introduced me to much I didn't know about and I thank you!
I grew up in Steamboat, Nevada, where our water actually was fed from underground hot mineral springs. An ages-old hot spring has since become a spa.....I'd love to stay there for vacation and reminisce.