Sylvia writes, “I have the choice,”
And her words gut me like
An overeager pubescent student
With a scalpel and tweezers.
I feel the same as she. I, too,
Ricochet; I, too, document it
In my journal and in verse.
What can it mean that she who chews her pen
While she writes poetry on a keyboard,
Feels the same as she who is so loved
And so dead?
What can it mean that I
Shrivel to hear that my words have already
Been worded and my thoughts
Have already been thought and my
Feelings have already been felt?
Sylvia, with her beautiful name and
Her published books
(And her suicide),
Has plucked away some part
Of my individuality. What can I
Do to salvage myself?
How can I say, “A piece of my soul
Has been stolen!” when it was
Her soul, first?
I guess I didn’t start the fire.
I guess that I never have,
And this be my terror-
That every flame that has ever
Warmed me was not my own,
That the stars in my sky
(Dim and flickering though they be, and hidden by light pollution, anyway)
Were someone else’s stars, first,
That the words in my head
Were never mine to begin with,
That I live and breathe and love
What has been lived and breathed and loved
A thousand, a hundred thousand,
A million times before
On a million worlds, by a million
People, that even this
Strangled indignation, this anger
Is not mine; these hands, these memories,
These hangnails and icy toes,
The name, though decidedly less beautiful than “Sylvia”...
Must I share myself with the world?
How small and insignificant I am.
Even wondering about my smallness and insignificance
Is small and insignificant, because
Everyone has wondered it.
Perhaps I am selfish, because I want it
All for me, or perhaps I am exactly as
Everyone else. Would it be a compliment or an insult
To be precisely like Sylvia Plath?
Would it be a compliment or an insult to be precisely like
Copyright © Little Sperling | Year Posted 2017
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