Thursday, April 19, 2012

Return of Lady Lazarus

Dedicated to Sylvia Plath, a brilliant poetess killed by sexism and the fact that she was born into a time that didn't recognize women's issues and put a stigma on those who had depression

They say you died three times like a cat
Well they still couldn’t kill you off, fancy that
Fancy the analogies
Oh darling, oh please
As you strut with your red hair
Your woman hood
There are bones in the ground
A headstone cold as the winter earth you were buried in
They say the engine took you
The gas
Like those in the camps
His name was Ted
You met in England
You were tall, your hair was red
He imprisoned you with his lies
He killed you they say
Your words
Singing about womanhood
Sometimes bad, sometimes good
Motherhood, the cross we bear
Do you dare question?
They label you with ugly words
They call you lost
Many men, oh yes the men
Laugh and say it is all your fault
Your plight and the fact you took flight
From a world much too small for you anyway
Your bedrock memorial
Cold as the North Atlantic
Hughes scraped off
By those labeled radical feminists
Or those of us who know the truth
Ted’s second victim knew the truth
So much so that she copied you
Like a carbon paper doll
She sucked it in and took it all
Esther is an alias
So Biblical
So appropriate for the daughter of a beekeeper
You didn’t die but you were killed
You didn’t die but you rise in the voice of every angry woman
Anybody labeled as crazy
In the library they whisper your name
At Smith they have a sick game
Every Halloween where you are the favorite costume
You got it on number three
It was the trash
You tore up the decade and rose from the ash
The movie only captured your pale shadow
Ted still makes it about him
Pinching the profits although they might be slim
With you rotting in the ground it was so easy to do
But he would always live in the haunting shadow of you
Cancer got him and took him to hell
He didn’t rise out of the ash like you my love
Oh I can tell
They say you were lost
That’s why you did what you did
I think you knew the destination
I think you finally found your trap door
The cure to the malaise.
Out of a world that didn’t welcome your spirit
But yet you always rise from your cold grave cave with your words.

The Fulbright and Lady Lazarus herself

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