Ted Hughes: Dreamers

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Dreamers

We didn’t find her – she found us.
She sniffed us out. The Fate she carried
Sniffed us out
And assembled us, inert ingredients
For its experiment. The Fable she carried
Requisitioned you and me and her,
Puppets for its performance.

She fascinated you. Her eyes caressed you,
Melted a weeping glitter at you.
Her German the dark undercurrent
In her Kensington jeweller’s elocution
Was your ancestral Black Forest whisper –
Edged with a greasy, death-camp, soot-softness.
When she suddenly rounded her eyeballs,
Popped them, strangled, she shocked you.
lt was her mock surprise.
But you saw hanged women choke, dumb, through her,
And when she listened, watching you, through smoke,
Her black-ringed grey iris, slightly unnatural,
Was Black Forest wolf, a witch’s daughter
out of Grimm.

Warily you cultivated her,
Her jewishness, her many-blooded beauty,
As if your dream of your dream-self stood there,
A glittering blackness, Europe’s mystical jewel.
A creature from beyond the fringe of your desk-lamp.
Who was this Lilith of abortions
Touching the hair of your children
With tiger-painted nails?

Her speech Harrods, Hitlers mutilations
Kept you company, weeding the onions.
An ex-Nazi Youth Sabra. Her father
Doctor to the Bolshoi Ballet.

She was helpless too.
None of us could wake up.
Nightmare looked out at the poppies.
She sat there, in her soot-wet mascara,
In flame-orange silks, in gold bracelets,
Slightly filthy with erotic mystery –
A German
Russian Israeli with the gaze of a demon
Between curtains of black Mongolian hair.

After a single night under our roof
She told her dream. A giant fish, a pike
Had a globed, golden eye, and in that eye
A throbbing suman foetus –
You were astonished, maybe envious.

I refused to interpret. I saw
The dreamer in her
Had fallen in love with me and she did not know it.
That moment the dreamer in me
Fell in love with her, and I knew it.

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Sylvia Plath: Ariel

Dark_Room_by_ikiz[1]

Stasis in darkness.
Then the substanceless blue
Pour of tor and distances.

God’s lioness,
How one we grow,
Pivot of heels and knees! – The furrow

Splits and passes, sister to
The brown arc
Of the neck I cannot catch,

Nigger-eye
Berries cast dark
Hooks –

Black sweet blood mouthfuls,
Shadows.
Something else

Hauls me through air –
Thighs, hair;
Flakes from my heels.

White
Godiva, I unpeel –
Dead hands, dead stringencies.

And now I
Foam to wheat, a glitter of seas.
The child’s cry

Melts in the wall.
And I
Am the arrow,

The dew that flies
Suicidal, at one with the drive
Into the red

Eye, the cauldron of morning.

Sylvia Plath: Cut

One of my all time favourites:

Image 

For Susan O’Neill Roe

What a thrill —
My thumb instead of an onion.
The top quite gone
Except for a sort of a hinge

Of skin,
A flap like a hat,
Dead white.
Then that red plush.

Little pilgrim,
The Indian’s axed your scalp.
Your turkey wattle
Carpet rolls

Straight from the heart.
I step on it,
Clutching my bottle
Of pink fizz.

A celebration, this is.
Out of a gap
A million soldiers run,
Redcoats, every one.

Whose side are they on?
O my
Homunculus, I am ill.
I have taken a pill to kill

The thin
Papery feeling.
Saboteur,
Kamikaze man —

The stain on your
Gauze Ku Klux Klan
Babushka
Darkens and tarnishes and when

The balled
Pulp of your heart
Confronts its small
Mill of silence

How you jump —
Trepanned veteran,
Dirty girl,
Thumb stump.

 

 

Favourites: Plath

The Rival

If the moon smiled, she would resemble you. 
You leave the same impression 
Of something beautiful, but annihilating. 
Both of you are great light borrowers. 
Her O-mouth grieves at the world; yours is unaffected, 

And your first gift is making stone out of everything. 
I wake to a mausoleum; you are here, 
Ticking your fingers on the marble table, looking for cigarettes, 
Spiteful as a woman, but not so nervous, 
And dying to say something unanswerable. 

The moon, too, abuses her subjects, 
But in the daytime she is ridiculous. 
Your dissatisfactions, on the other hand, 
Arrive through the mailslot with loving regularity, 
White and blank, expansive as carbon monoxide. 

No day is safe from news of you, 
Walking about in Africa maybe, but thinking of me.

Sylvia Plath :