Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Poem for Wednesday, and a New Painting..."What Lies Beneath"

"What Lies Beneath"
24" x 36"
Oil and Mixed Media on Canvas
The original painting is for sale and prints are also available on Etsy.

Feeling a little somber today...maybe it's the cold.  Snowed in for the fifth day in 2 weeks, I pulled out some sketch books from high school and found this Sylvia Plath poem on one of the first pages.  Yes, going back to my teen-angst-ridden, Plath-quoting days is always an interesting place to revisit. Despite all the years that passed when I first stumbled across her poetry, the words are still so powerful to me. The poem spoke through my new work and let me see it in a new light.


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 radience 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.

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