Ariel by Sylvia Plath ****

Reading dates: 24 June – 24 July 2014

Neil read this book to me, around a poem per night, before sleep. I travelled from thoughts of suicide, to hospitals and bees in vehicles made of words. A star fell because I did not re-read, and this needs re-reading. Of all the poems, this one echoed daily since the day I heard it. It still does.

Thalidomide

O half moon—

Half-brain, luminosity—
Negro, masked like a white,

Your dark
Amputations crawl and appall—

Spidery, unsafe.
What glove

What leatheriness
Has protected

Me from that shadow—
The indelible buds,

Knuckles at shoulder-blades, the
Faces that

Shove into being, dragging
The lopped

Blood-caul of absences.
All night I carpenter

A space for the thing I am given,
A love

Of two wet eyes and a screech.
White spit

Of indifference!
The dark fruits revolve and fall.

The glass cracks across,
The image

Flees and aborts like dropped mercury.

8 November 1962