söndag 17 januari 2016

Face it! You can't plaster your inside

  Kvällens huvudperson har redan haft fyra dikter med i bloggen. Men liksom i Maya Angelous fall har jag utgått från en speciell dikt. I Sylvia Plaths fall handlar det om dikten "Heavy women" (1961), och de övriga två dikterna är skrivna samma år, två år före hennes död.


 Jag var kanske lite oklar förra lördagen om kvinnoperspektivet i urvalet. Men om ni begrundar Maya Angelous "Phenomenal woman" och sedan läser Sylvia Plaths "Heavy women", så förstår ni säkert vad jag vill åt. Sylvias dikt handlar om gravida kvinnor.

Heavy women, by Sylvia Plath (1932-1963)
(Plath : poems / selected by Diane Wood Middlebrook. New York : Knopf : 1998.)

Irrefutable, beautifully smug

As Venus, pedestalled on a half-shell
Shawled in blond hair and the salt
Scrim of a sea breeze, the women
Settle in their belling dresses.
Over each weighty stomach a face
Floats calm as a moon or a cloud.

Smiling to themselves, they meditate

Devoutly as the Dutch bulb
Forming its twenty petals.
The dark still nurses its secret.
On the green hill, under the thorn trees,
They listen for the millennium,
The knock of the small, new heart.

Pink-buttoned infants attend them.
Looping wool, doing nothing in particular,
They step among the archetypes.
Dusk hoods them in Mary-blue
While far off, the axle of winter
Grinds round, bearing down the straw,
The star, the wise grey men.


  Nästa dikt skrevs medan Plath var på St. Pancras hospital i England (18 mars 1961), omedelbart efter en blindtarmsoperation. Hennes anteckningar, liksom brev hon skrev till sin mor, beskriver händelserna kring sammansättningen av denna dikt.  Intressant är att hon skrev också en annan av sina berömda dikter, "Tulip", under samma dag. Hennes privatliv var ganska kaotiskt vid den här tidpunkten, vilket avspeglas i dikterna.

In plaster (first and second stanza), by Sylvia Plath
(Plath : poems / selected by Diane Wood Middlebrook. New York : Knopf : 1998.)
I shall never get out of this!  There are two of me now:
This new absolutely white person and the old yellow one,
And the white person is certainly the superior one.
She doesn't need food, she is one of the real saints.
At the beginning I hated her, she had no personality --
She lay in bed with me like a dead body
And I was scared, because she was shaped just the way I was

Only much whiter and unbreakable and with no complaints.
I couldn't sleep for a week, she was so cold.
I blamed her for everything, but she didn't answer.
I couldn't understand her stupid behavior!
When I hit her she held still, like a true pacifist.
Then I realized what she wanted was for me to love her:
She began to warm up, and I saw her advantages.



  Hon studerade vid Smith College när hon erhöll stipendium till studier vid Cambridge-universitetet i England. Där träffade hon den engelske poeten Ted Hughes. De gifte sig 1957.
  Hon skrev suggestiv, kraftfull och i högsta grad personlig lyrik, som ofta uttryckte ett slags övergivenhet. De sista dikterna, som publicerades postumt av Hughes, är också de mest kända.

Mirror, by Sylvia Plath
(Plath : poems / selected by Diane Wood Middlebrook. New York : Knopf : 1998.)

I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.
What ever you see I swallow immediately
Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike.
I am not cruel, only truthful---
The eye of a little god, four-cornered.
Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall.
It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long
I think it is a part of my heart. But it flickers.
Faces and darkness separate us over and over.

Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me,
Searching my reaches for what she really is.
Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.
I see her back, and reflect it faithfully.
She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands.
I am important to her. She comes and goes.
Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness.
In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman
Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish.

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