One poem leads to another.
I meander through the volumes of poetry on my bedside table following a path that's sometimes obvious, often less so. From Ted Hughes' Wind I alighted on Dylan Thomas' Fern Hill, another poem that evokes a time long ago "when I sang in my chains like the sea". In my fifty-first year I understand that more than ever before.
But Thomas was a a detour while I hesitated to take the step I knew I must. From Hughes to Plath.
Every few years I come back to Sylvia Plath. More often would be dangerous. Her poems are sharp as a scalpel, cutting directly to the truth, with the potential to cause deep and permanent damage.
Lady Lazarus is one of her finest, wielded precisely in her own voice in this 1962 recording by the BBC. But be warned:
Herr God, Herr Lucifer
Out of the ashClick on that link and be careful.
I rise with my red hair
And I eat men like air.