Dear Sylvia Plath (Response to Apprehensions)

Please let me preface with a confession –
I am not familiar with your work.
It is not oversight on my part, rather
a deliberate avoidance – you see,
I too have faced the brand of madness
that drove you to your death, have
feared that any intimacy we might share
would stir my own apprehensions.

Indeed, I understand all too well
the presence of walls,
have believed in the power of sky,
the promise of green, found faith in angels –
nature my solace – realized too young
that the sun’s brilliance, that my brilliance
cannot be sustained by the innocence of white –
bleeds at the fate of indifferent stars.

I understand how gray seeps in,
tears away at the illusions,
entraps us –
how the past stalks, spirals
threatens to suck us in, and how
having lost my own connection to birds and trees,
wonderment sours.

It is the fate of women
born into patriarchal times,
that the blood of our menses
should colour our fists –
our fury as potent as a paper bag –
how can we not feel terror
when we worship a God
whose religion disparages our gender?

I have faced the inevitability of black –
what once brought solace having lost
its definition, unidentifiable –
have faced mortality, the cold blank
stares of death still haunting –
I am the one who has passed you by –
afraid to linger too long in your words,
have woefully overlooked
the merit of a sympathetic read.

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(Today’s prompt is to write a response to a poem by Sylvia Plath.)

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25 comments

  1. Wow, yeah…. Hi VJ 🙂 Love Sylvia, she is terribly depressing lol. Which only means like you, I can explore those insane depths. I really love this poem as it ejects and interjects associations and questions (which good poems do). Love to you, WP is a hit and miss for me of late and I’m trying but life, mood, stuff gets in the way. Always glad when wandering back.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wow!! That was powerful and based on what I’ve recently learned of Sylvia’s life and poetry, I can see why you would shy away. But in this piece you wrote you dive right in and I can feel your power and presence, anger and fear. Bravo!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. V.J love this. Especially: “I understand how gray seeps in,
tears away at the illusions,
entraps us –
how the past stalks, spirals
threatens to suck us in, and how
having lost my own connection to birds and trees,
wonderment sours.” I read her works in high school and college and found her pain equally familiar and dangerous. Eventually came to see it as a motivational warning.

    Liked by 2 people

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