Sylvia Plath as Poet Laureate

Sylvia Plath as Poet Laureate
—for Carol Ann Duffy

“How queer the change is
from private writing to
public writing”
—Virginia Woolf

After Trevor Thomas—saved me
Pulling my head—out of Yeats’ oven
Catching my breath—escaping the
Night of the Living Dead—I sat
There listening—the Regent Park
Wolves howling—every night just
For me—a thrush outside singing
In the morning—soon it was spring
And I had a—sudden premonition

Suddenly bored—moving beyond
Mumbo-jumbo—Ted Hughes with
His astrology, horoscopes—hypnosis
Ouija boards—his tacky consultations
With the entrails—of rabbits and owls
Something to be disowned—much too
Sullen his—tiring Mytholmroydian
Moody navel-gazing—his Jungian
Writing style—hoity-toity crapola

Aurelia took the children—back to MA
Ted and Assia—got married after our
Divorce—the door to Court Green
Opened up once again—to the thing
I wanted to do—more than anything
Which was to write—in a private way
Home and healing—letting slow weeks
Go calmly by—my heartbeat calm
No husband, children—summer again

Then I saw her—there in the garden
The one I thought I lost—the one who
Almost lost me—and yet there she was
My Ariel lover—she who was my Other
The poetess within me—my Lesbos self
Coming to me—holding the thin book
That would wing me—now all these
Years later—away from the closet
Into the realm—of the BBC again…

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