Tag Archives: Sylvia Plath

Stealing Lines ~NaPoWriMo2020 Day 8

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay


You remember too much…

Why hold onto all that?

And I said,

where can I put it down?

It is a heavy load

that doesn’t seem to lighten over time

Though I’ve tried burning it, burying it,

and boxing it away

And anyway,

how do I tell you how I got here without getting trapped in the past?


After all

I am alive only by accident

I’ve tried and failed to end the anguish

to end me

more than once


Failure has been a constant companion

And somehow

in this land of sadness and shadow

I find myself again,

I am no shadow.

Though there is a shadow

starting at my feet.

I’ve stitched it on

like Wendy did for Peter

but still

under the seams runs the pain


~Melanie Thomason


Stolen Lines honoring these fabulous poets:

Richard Siken “How do I tell you how I got here without getting trapped in the past?”

Anne Carson “You remember too much, my mother said to me recently. Why hold onto all that? And I said, Where can I put it down?” And “Under the seams runs the pain.”

Sylvia Plath “After all I am alive only by accident.” And “I find myself again. I am no shadow Though there is a shadow starting from my feet.”



Filed under Poetry

Daddy by Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath (Photo credit: felix macpherson)


by Sylvia Plath

You do not do, you do not do
Any more, black shoe
In which I have lived like a foot
For thirty years, poor and white,
Barely daring to breathe or Achoo.

Daddy, I have had to kill you.
You died before I had time--
Marble-heavy, a bag full of God,
Ghastly statue with one gray toe
Big as a Frisco seal

And a head in the freakish Atlantic
Where it pours bean green over blue
In the waters off beautiful Nauset.
I used to pray to recover you.
Ach, du.

In the German tongue, in the Polish town
Scraped flat by the roller
Of wars, wars, wars.
But the name of the town is common.
My Polack friend

Says there are a dozen or two.
So I never could tell where you
Put your foot, your root,
I never could talk to you.
The tongue stuck in my jaw.

It stuck in a barb wire snare.
Ich, ich, ich, ich,
I could hardly speak.
I thought every German was you.
And the language obscene

An engine, an engine
Chuffing me off like a Jew.
A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen.
I began to talk like a Jew.
I think I may well be a Jew.

The snows of the Tyrol, the clear beer of Vienna
Are not very pure or true.
With my gipsy ancestress and my weird luck
And my Taroc pack and my Taroc pack
I may be a bit of a Jew.

I have always been scared of you,
With your Luftwaffe, your gobbledygoo.
And your neat mustache
And your Aryan eye, bright blue.
Panzer-man, panzer-man, O You-- 

Not God but a swastika
So black no sky could squeak through.
Every woman adores a Fascist,
The boot in the face, the brute
Brute heart of a brute like you.

You stand at the blackboard, daddy,
In the picture I have of you,
A cleft in your chin instead of your foot
But no less a devil for that, no not 
Any less the black man who

Bit my pretty red heart in two.
I was ten when they buried you.
At twenty I tried to die
And get back, back, back to you.
I thought even the bones would do.

But they pulled me out of the sack,
And they stuck me together with glue.
And then I knew what to do.
I made a model of you,
A man in black with a Meinkampf look

And a love of the rack and the screw.
And I said I do, I do.
So daddy, I'm finally through.
The black telephone's off at the root,
The voices just can't worm through.
If I've killed one man, I've killed two--
The vampire who said he was you
And drank my blood for a year,
Seven years, if you want to know.
Daddy, you can lie back now.
There's a stake in your fat black heart
And the villagers never liked you.
They are dancing and stamping on you.
They always knew it was you.
Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I'm through.

12 October 1962

 I love dear Sylvia and it distresses me that most often what is discussed is her suicide not her words.

What are your thoughts on this Poem?


Filed under Poetry