Cleaving Ted Hughes

Ted Hughes

Swastika Night

“A man in black with
a Mien Kampf look”
—Sylvia Plath, Daddy

Poetry—isn’t possible
After Auschwitz—they say
But poets—write anyway

Poetry—doesn’t exist
After the Holocaust—they say
Yet holocausts—continue

The ovens—burn constantly
How innovative—we don’t
Need faggots—to burn anymore

Words—don’t exist
Except when—burning
Trash—into ash

Smoke stacks—suck up
Bodies—spewing killer skies
Over—the planet

No poetry—is possible
After Auschwitz—they say
Everything—just dies

How can we—even write
One lousy line—the same
With Sylvia—or Ariel

What’s wrong—with Ted?
Was he—a closet Nazi?
Clicking his—leather boots?

Poets—live in darkness
But what’s new—my dear?
Always—the Swastika Night.

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