Friday, April 22, 2016

S is for Sappho, Stevie Smith and Anne Sexton



My theme this year is the ABCEDARIA of Women who have inspired me.

S is for Sappho, Stevie Smith and Anne Sexton -

 please click the links - I'm  throwing down a poem for each!

Sappho
Image result for sappho

Set are the Pleiades; the Moon is down
And midnight dark on high.
The hours, the hours, drift by,
And here I lie,
Alone 


Stevie Smith

Image result for Stevie Smith

Not Waving But Drowning - Stevie Smith

Nobody heard him, the dead man,   
But still he lay moaning: 
I was much further out than you thought   
And not waving but drowning. 

Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he’s dead 
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,   
They said. 

Oh, no no no, it was too cold always   
(Still the dead one lay moaning)   
I was much too far out all my life   
And not waving but drowning.

Anne Sexton


Sylvia's Death

for Sylvia Plath 

O Sylvia, Sylvia, 
with a dead box of stones and spoons, 
with two children, two meteors 
wandering loose in a tiny playroom, 
with your mouth into the sheet, 
into the roofbeam, into the dumb prayer, 
(Sylvia, Sylvia 
where did you go 
after you wrote me 
from Devonshire 
about raising potatoes 
and keeping bees?) 
what did you stand by, 
just how did you lie down into? 
Thief — 
how did you crawl into, 
crawl down alone 
into the death I wanted so badly and for so long, 
the death we said we both outgrew, 
the one we wore on our skinny breasts, 
the one we talked of so often each time 
we downed three extra dry martinis in Boston, 
the death that talked of analysts and cures, 
the death that talked like brides with plots, 
the death we drank to, 
the motives and the quiet deed? 
(In Boston 
the dying 
ride in cabs, 
yes death again, 
that ride home 
with our boy.) 
O Sylvia, I remember the sleepy drummer 
who beat on our eyes with an old story, 
how we wanted to let him come 
like a sadist or a New York fairy 
to do his job, 
a necessity, a window in a wall or a crib, 
and since that time he waited 
under our heart, our cupboard, 
and I see now that we store him up 
year after year, old suicides 
and I know at the news of your death 
a terrible taste for it, like salt, 
(And me, 
me too. 
And now, Sylvia, 
you again 
with death again, 
that ride home 
with our boy.) 
And I say only 
with my arms stretched out into that stone place, 
what is your death 
but an old belonging, 
a mole that fell out 
of one of your poems? 
(O friend, 
while the moon's bad, 
and the king's gone, 
and the queen's at her wit's end 
the bar fly ought to sing!) 
O tiny mother,  
you too! 
O funny duchess! 
O blonde thing!

That's all I want to put of these three poets - their words wafting through the centuries - their crazy hearts.
 

3 comments:

Gail M Baugniet - Author said...

Rather a heavy day with these poems focusing on pain; apropos for another day when the music died in a purple haze. So often we are called on to say RIP.

Gail’s 2016 April A to Z Challenge
Theme: The Fun in Writing #212

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Good choices, especially considering that it's National Poetry Month in the States! Thanks for sharing these this morning.

Margot Kinberg said...

What powerful poetry, Jan! They really speak to the soul, which doesn't surprise me in the least. Thank you for sharing them.