S: Ginny's Book of Sylvia Plath
BC: Introductions. Ginny Mayer. Fantabulous SRS leader, strikingly beautiful and amazingly talented at seemingly everything. Charlotte Lewis and Sarah Burry. Ultimate forever fangirls of Ginny Mayer. What happens when fangirls want to do something unique and amazing for such an amazing person? This book. We love you Ginny.
FC: Ginny's Book of Sylvia Plath
1: Thank you Ginny for being such an amazing leader for us. For believing in spoken word for bringing passion into everything you do for being there for smiling for brownie points for being a friend For being our Ashton We present you with a personalized gift- a story. A story through works of literature and poetic masterpieces we know you cherish. You have brought these works alive for us, in turn we need to make it come to life for you. We love you, we hope you love this. Turn the page, let the journey begin | Thank You
2: Part One
3: We begin in Plath's childhood. Sylvia was born October 27, 1932, in the midst of the Great Depression. Her first poem was published in the paper at age 8, and since then she showed strong promise for being a literature artist. November 5, 1940, Sylvia's father Oliver died. Even though she was raised in faith as a Unitarian Christian, she lost faith in God as an aftereffect of her father's death. She was eight years old. Plath excelled in school and got a full scholarship to Smith College.
4: Plath got her first job as an editor in Mademoiselle Magazine. She found it mundane and boring, and the disappointment began a downwards spiral.
5: Through frost-thick weather This witch sidles, fingers crooked, as if Caught in a hazardous medium that might Merely by its continuing Attach her to heaven. At eye's envious corner Crow's-feet copy veining on a stained leaf; Cold squint steals sky's color; while bruit Of bells calls holy ones, her tongue Backtalks at the raven Claeving furred air Over her skull's midden; no knife Rivals her whetted look, divining what conceit Waylays simple girls, church-going, And what heart's oven Craves most to cook batter Rich in strayings with every amorous oaf, | Ready, for a trinket, To squander owl-hours on bracken bedding, Flesh unshriven. Against virgin prayer This sorceress sets mirrors enough To distract beauty's thought; Lovesick at first fond song, Each vain girl's driven To believe beyond heart's flare No fire is, nor in any book proof Sun hoists soul up after lids fall shut; So she wills all to the black king. The worst sloven Vies with best queen over Right to blaze as satan's wife; Housed in earth, those million brides shriek out. Some burn short, some long, Staked in pride's coven. | Vanity Fair
6: After being denied acceptance into Harvard's writing seminar, Plath tried to kill herself in 1953 by taking her mother's sleeping pills and hiding under the house. She was found barely alive after three days.
7: My thoughts are crabbed and sallow, My tears like vinegar, Or the bitter blinking yellow Of an acetic star. Tonight the caustic wind, love, Gossips late and soon, And I wear the wry-faced pucker of The sour lemon moon. While like an early summer plum, Puny, green, and tart, Droops upon its wizened stem My lean, unripened heart. | Jilted
8: After her suicide attempt, Plath was treated for six months in psychiatric care, receiving electric and insulin shock therapy every day. She went back to college, the doctors believing she had made a full recovery.
9: In the dour ages Of drafty cells and draftier castles, Of dragons breathing without the frame of fables, Saint and king unfisted obstruction's knuckles By no miracle or majestic means, But by such abuses As smack of spite and the overscrupulous Twisting of thumbscrews: one soul tied in sinews, One white horse drowned, and all the unconquered pinnacles Of God's city and Babylon's Must wait, while here Suso's Hand hones his tack and needles, Scouraging to sores his own red sluices For the relish of heaven, relentless, dousing with prickles Of horsehair and lice his horny loins; While there irate Cyrus Squanders a summer and the brawn of his heroes To rebuke the horse-swallowing River Gyndes: He split it into three hundred and sixty trickles A girl could wade without wetting her shins. Still, latter-day sages, Smiling at this behavior, subjugating their enemies Neatly, nicely, by disbelief or bridges, Never grip, as the grandsires did, that devil who chuckles From grain of the marrow and the river-bed grains. | A Lesson in Vengeance
10: In June of 1962, Plath was in a car accident, An event she described as one of her many suicide attempts
11: I have done it again. One year in every ten I manage it-- A sort of walking miracle, my skin Bright as a Nazi lampshade, My right foot A paperweight, My face a featureless, fine Jew linen. Peel off the napkin O my enemy. Do I terrify?-- The nose, the eye pits, the full set of teeth? The sour breath Will vanish in a day. Soon, soon the flesh The grave cave ate will be At home on me And I a smiling woman. I am only thirty. And like the cat I have nine times to die. This is Number Three. What a trash To annihilate each decade. What a million filaments. The peanut-crunching crowd Shoves in to see Them unwrap me hand and foot-- The big strip tease. Gentlemen, ladies | Lady Lazarus
12: These are my hands My knees. I may be skin and bone, Nevertheless, I am the same, identical woman. The first time it happened I was ten. It was an accident. The second time I meant To last it out and not come back at all. I rocked shut As a seashell. They had to call and call And pick the worms off me like sticky pearls. Dying Is an art, like everything else. I do it exceptionally well. I do it so it feels like hell. I do it so it feels real. I guess you could say I've a call. It's easy enough to do it in a cell. It's easy enough to do it and stay put. It's the theatrical Comeback in broad day To the same place, the same face, the same brute Amused shout: 'A miracle!' That knocks me out. There is a charge For the eyeing of my scars, there is a charge For the hearing of my heart-- It really goes.
13: And there is a charge, a very large charge For a word or a touch Or a bit of blood Or a piece of my hair or my clothes. So, so, Herr Doktor. So, Herr Enemy. I am your opus, I am your valuable, The pure gold baby That melts to a shriek. I turn and burn. Do not think I underestimate your great concern. Ash, ash-- You poke and stir. Flesh, bone, there is nothing there-- A cake of soap, A wedding ring, A gold filling. Herr God, Herr Lucifer Beware Beware. Out of the ash I rise with my red hair And I eat men like air.
14: In 1961, Plath's husband, Ted Hughs had an affair with Assia Wevill. She found out over the phone.
15: Axes After whose stroke the wood rings, And the echoes! Echoes traveling Off from the center like horses. The sap Wells like tears, like the Water striving To re-establish its mirror Over the rock That drops and turns, A white skull, Eaten by weedy greens. Years later I Encounter them on the road---- Words dry and riderless, The indefatigable hoof-taps. While From the bottom of the pool, fixed stars Govern a life. | Words
16: In 1963, Sylvia Plath committed suicide by placing her head in a gas oven, thus giving herself carbon monoxide poisoning.
17: The woman is perfected. Her dead Body wears the smile of accomplishment, The illusion of a Greek necessity Flows in the scrolls of her toga, Her bare Feet seem to be saying: We have come so far, it is over. Each dead child coiled, a white serpent, One at each little Pitcher of milk, now empty. She has folded Them back into her body as petals Of a rose close when the garden Stiffens and odors bleed From the sweet, deep throats of the night flower. The moon has nothing to be sad about, Staring from her hood of bone. She is used to this sort of thing. Her blacks crackle and drag. | Edge
18: PART TWO
19: Written in the following pages are a select number of Plath's works. The emotions range from happy to sad, some are long, others short. We hope you enjoy them.
21: Cut | What a thrill ---- My thumb instead of an onion. The top quite gone Except for a sort of 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 one? 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.
23: 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. | Daddy
24: 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
25: 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.
27: I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions. What ever you see I swallow immediately Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike. I am not cruel, only truthful--- The eye of a little god, four-cornered. Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall. It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long I think it is a part of my heart. But it flickers. Faces and darkness separate us over and over. Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me, Searching my reaches for what she really is. Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon. I see her back, and reflect it faithfully. She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands. I am important to her. She comes and goes. Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness. In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish. | Mirror
29: 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 methrough 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. | Ariel
31: These poems do not live: it's a sad diagnosis. They grew their toes and fingers well enough, Their little foreheads bulged with concentration. If they missed out on walking about like people It wasn't for any lack of mother-love. O I cannot explain what happened to them! They are proper in shape and number and every part. They sit so nicely in the pickling fluid! They smile and smile and smile at me. And still the lungs won't fill and the heart won't start. They are not pigs, they are not even fish, Though they have a piggy and a fishy air -- It would be better if they were alive, and that's what they were. But they are dead, and their mother near dead with distraction, And they stupidly stare and do not speak of her. | Stillborn
33: The wet dawn inks are doing their blue dissolve. On their blotter of fog the trees Seem a botanical drawing -- Memories growing, ring on ring, A series of weddings. Knowing neither abortions nor bitchery, Truer than women, They seed so effortlessly! Tasting the winds, that are footless, Waist-deep in history -- Full of wings, otherworldliness. In this, they are Ledas. O mother of leaves and sweetness Who are these piets? The shadows of ringdoves chanting, but chasing nothing. | Winter Trees
35: This is winter, this is night, small love -- A sort of black horsehair, A rough, dumb country stuff Steeled with the sheen Of what green stars can make it to our gate. I hold you on my arm. It is very late. The dull bells tongue the hour. The mirror floats us at one candle power. This is the fluid in which we meet each other, This haloey radiance that seems to breathe And lets our shadows wither Only to blow Them huge again, violent giants on the wall. One match scratch makes you real. At first the candle will not bloom at all -- It snuffs its bud | To almost nothing, to a dull blue dud. I hold my breath until you creak to life, Balled hedgehog, Small and cross. The yellow knife Grows tall. You clutch your bars. My singing makes you roar. I rock you like a boat Across the Indian carpet, the cold floor, While the brass man Kneels, back bent, as best he can Hefting his white pillar with the light That keeps the sky at bay, The sack of black! It is everywhere, tight, tight! He is yours, the little brassy Atlas -- Poor heirloom, all you have, At his heels a pile of five brass cannonballs, No child, no wife. Five balls! Five bright brass balls! To juggle with, my love, when the sky falls. | By Candlelight
36: I took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart: I am, I am, I am -Sylvia Plath
37: All hail Ginny! -Charlotte and Sarah
38: CHARLOTTE'S PAGE
39: SARAH'S PAGE