Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sylvia By God Plath!

Dear Everyone:

A guest commentator today, the poet Robert Hass. He knows this material better than I do. Well, as a former poet laureate of the United States he oughta. Still, he doesn't just jot these things down off the top of his head the way I do.

Here, from a sampling of his poetry column posted on the Web is:

A Poem by Sylvia Plath
By Robert Hass
"Poet's Choice," March 15, 1998

[Essay removed because it’s still in copyright; but Google it, and there it'll be.]

By Candlelight
By Sylvia Plath

This is winter, this is night, small love --
A sort of black horsehair,
A rough, dumb country stuff
Steeled with the sheen
Of what green stars can make it to our gate.

[Rest of poem removed because it’s probably still in copyright]

Michael here again. We’ll revisit that line tomorrow (or tomorrow or tomorrow, creeps). Right now I just wanted to say, as I am your friend, don’t pick up a copy of Birthday Letters. Worst poems Hughes ever wrote. Pick up his volume Crow instead. Or Plath’s Ariel. Either one of them will sear the little hairs off the backs of your hands.

All best,



Lara said...

Ah, Crow. Yes!

Michael Swanwick said...

I don't think I included any of the Crow poems in this sequence because I'd already given Sean his own copy of the book. (I've given away several copies of that book.) But it was a major influence on my story, "The Raggle Taggle Gypsy-O."

Brilliant, brilliant work. Not as good as Ariel, though.