Aftermath, by Sylvia Plath

11 May 2013

Compelled by calamity’s magnet
They loiter and stare as if the house
Burnt-out were theirs, or as if they thought
Some scandal might any minute ooze
From a smoke-choked closet into light;
No deaths, no prodigious injuries
Glut these hunters after an old meat,
Blood-spoor of the austere tragedies.

Mother Medea in a green smock
Moves humbly as any housewife through
Her ruined apartments, taking stock
Of charred shoes, the sodden upholstery:
Cheated of the pyre and the rack,
The crowd sucks her last tear and turns away.

//

Medea is outside my classical frame of reference – it is not a Euripides that I have read, or someone who I have otherwise pursued. Rather, I know her best from this poem by Rebecca Heselton.

[Read in  Collected Poems, published by Faber & Faber. Ripped from poemhunter.]

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One Response to “Aftermath, by Sylvia Plath”

  1. indytony Says:

    Plath was a poetic genius.

    I was drawn here while doing a tag search for “Sylvia Plath” posts.

    I am currently reading Plath’s journals in preparation for a writing project and I’m hoping to foster some dialogue about Plath’s life and work. I did a brief post on her early perspectives here –

    http://writingforfoodinindy.wordpress.com/2013/05/25/beauty-out-of-sorrow-reflections-of-a-young-sylvia-plath/

    I would love for you to drop by and join the conversation.

    Keep up the good blogging.


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