Category Archives: Sylvia Plath

échoes of Sylvia

i’m the clean dawn light

breaking home bonds

bringing breath

laughter empty space




i enjoy myself again

as i never remember having done

though i broke my home

though i broke


i feel cleanly shattered

peels of laughter shimmer

under breath released from

under the agony

of what has gone



is beginning

is fun

i’m this

after-life beginning

to live

i’m light, hon


‘ I simply cannot go on living the … agonizing life I’ve been living … I want a clean break, so I can breathe and laugh and enjoy myself again’.

Sylvia Plath

august 1962, letter to mother


i really really love tasty dishes

and i really love tasty food

(Harshita Chaudray, i’m a food lover )

I love ( it )  to the depth and

breadth and height

(Elizabeth Barrett Browning, how do I love thee)


not thick brown rice and rice pilau

or mushrooms creamed on toast (!)

(Maya Angelou, the health food diner )


one thousand long slimy crocodile tongues

boiled up in the skull of a dead witch for 

20 days and nights with the eyeballs of a lizard

(Roald Dahl, james and the giant peach)


oxtails languish on an earthen dish. Here are

wishbones and pinkies; fingerbowls will absolve


( Carol Anne Duffy, a healthy meal )


i really really love tasty dishes

and i really love tasty food

(Harshita Chaudray, i’m a food lover )

downhill i came, hungry, and yet not


( Edward Thomas, the owl )

i follow the aroma that rose from the kitchen

( Ravinder Kumar Soni, food for death )

ate and ate my fill

yet my mouth waters still

(Christina Rossetti, goblin market )

when i think of all the lollies i licked

and the sherbet dabs i picked

( Pam Ayres, oh, i wish i’d looked after my teeth )

the slime of all my yesterday’s 

rots in the hollow of my skull

and if my stomach would contact

(Sylvia Plath, April 18 )

asked me for a kiss

( Langston Hughes, suicides note )

to perfume the sleep of the dead   ( ….  )

( Sarojini Naidu, in the bazaars of Hyderabad )




what am I to do with this invasion, 

contamination of my pretty (?)

( Marion McCready, two daffodils lying on a window ledge )

spread it on bread

spread it on thick

wash it all down with a cold cup of sick (?)

( source unknown , remembered from school )

never – in Extremity,

it asked a crumb – of me

(Emily Dickinson, hope is the thing with feathers )


i’ll make my point – enough’s enough

( Carol Ann Duffy, boys 3, stanley )

 i repent,

(btw )

to the depth and

breadth and height 

i lament,


jam, and jelly; and bread;

are the best of food for me!

( Edward Lear, the quangle wangle’s hat )


not a haiku


Napowrimo Day 30

the final prompt

write a cento. This is a poem that is made up of lines taken from other poems. If you’d like to dig into an in-depth example, here’s John Ashbery’s cento “The Dong with the Luminous Nose,” and here it is again, fully annotated to show where every line originated. A cento might seem like a complex undertaking – and one that requires you to have umpteen poetry books at your fingertips for reference – but you don’t have to write a long one. And a good way to jump-start the process is to find an online curation of poems about a particular topic (or in a particular style), and then mine the poems for good lines to string together. You might look at the Poetry Foundation’s collection of love poems, or its collection of poems by British romantic poets, or even its surprisingly expansive collection of poems about (American) football.

Unlike swans, i dance

Glopowrimo / Napowrimo 2020


Day 8:- asks you to peruse the work of one or more of these twitter bots, and use a line or two, or a phrase or even a word that stands out to you, as the seed for your own poem.

Today’s poetry resource is a series of twitter accounts that tweet phrases from different poets’ work. The Sylvia Plath Bot, as you might expect, tweets snippets of Plath.

Plath snippet :- Unlike swans,


Unlike swans,

i dance

what a lovely creature, a swan

quiet, sedate, white

what wings, so neat

folded, elegant

until they beat

water rhythmic

in an effort to lift

their bodies, but only just


listen, a swan


thrum thrum thrum

if only i was one

aloof, untainted, unthirsty

untouched unless by chaste water

unmated, unruffled, undusted unless behind

cabinet glass, perhaps, an unwanted gift

a vision


what a fine thing, a mirror

smooth, unopinionated

divested of majestic longing

though learns to listen for the longings

of reflexions of others

unlike me


i dance before this

song of a swan

an ugly thing

lifting distance

only just

a drift of pale gray feathers



April 8 2020