wordsthroughtheglass

my brain on a page

Among the flat pink roses

As my Barbican poet friends have informed me today marks the 50th anniversary of Sylvia Plath’s death. To celebrate her life and work on this humble blog I thought it’d be nice to share my favourite poem of hers; Morning Song. A poem about Plath’s personal battle with postnatal depression. I think it is an unsettling combination of striking beauty and emptiness.

Morning Song

Love set you going like a fat gold watch.
The midwife slapped your footsoles, and your bald cry
Took its place among the elements.

Our voices echo, magnifying your arrival. New statue.
In a drafty museum, your nakedness
Shadows our safety. We stand round blankly as walls.

I’m no more your mother
Than the cloud that distills a mirror to reflect its own slow
Effacement at the wind’s hand.

All night your moth-breath
Flickers among the flat pink roses. I wake to listen:
A far sea moves in my ear.

One cry, and I stumble from bed, cow-heavy and floral
In my Victorian nightgown.
Your mouth opens clean as a cat’s. The window square

Whitens and swallows its dull stars. And now you try
Your handful of notes;
The clear vowels rise like balloons.

pink rose pattern

The pattern above is by Samantha Hahn, it reminds me of the ‘flat pink roses’ described in the poem.

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