Revival

Sylvia Plath (October 27, 1932 – February 11, 1963). Photographer Unknown

 

Revival
Death of a Messenger

A never-ending performance
Of the darkest night
Has its swan song
With vapid glee
The black curtain’s enormity
Comes down
To an ovation, withstanding
The joys of life
Culminating in pulpit suits
Hats and bourbon
Decent and indecent
Upright and lipstick
Face down and flat out
Clouds of camphor and hypocrisy
Waft through stale air
As ghosts in need
Slip through cracks
Empty-handed, giftless
Greeting Gods
On the other side of tomorrow

 

“I am terrified by this dark thing that sleeps in me.”
― Sylvia Plath, The Collected Poems


Sylvia Plath reading ‘
A Birthday Present * *

 

Copyright © 2018 Mia Pharaoh. All rights reserved.

 

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88 thoughts on “Revival

  1. Genius and self destruction – so often one accompanies the other. And destroying the beast extinguishes the fire of creativity. A dark, contemplative and exquisite poem, Mia. I hope it is not autobiographical, my friend! ❤️

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    1. “Genius and self destruction”, definitely seem to hold hands, tragic. No, not autobiographical at all, I just couldn’t help but notice so many of the artists I admire have lost their battle with depression. Thankfully we have the legacy of their work. Thank you, Meg. Enjoy the day, stay warm. 💗

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  2. Your ‘dark tribute to death’ poem and the proud but defeated voice of Sylvia Plath have have more than just words in common. At the end of reading and listening they both share a still silence “On the other side of tomorrow’. So powerful, so good, I’m still shivering.

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    1. Thank you, George, for your wonderful words. Very much a tribute, not everything is pretty, I hope to think that it doesn’t matter or make it any less important. Indeed, “On the other side of tomorrow”. I hope you’re enjoying your day and staying warm.

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      1. I needed something powerful to reboot my creativity today. This was that powerful piece that helped me out. Thanks for that, Mia. Staying warm is tough. I’m playing guitar with the thermostat up high at 27C still wearing finger-less gloves.

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  3. This is quite beautifully expressed, Mia, which contrasts wonderfully against the darkness of its tone. The black curtain will continue to fall but the darkness it brings often reveals more than it hides, and, it will eventually rise once more.

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  4. For a living artist to have such palpable empathy with another artist long gone is a rare thing. It is a pity young Sylvia cannot be here. I am sure she would approve. As ever, most impressive work, young Mia.

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      1. As with Francesca Woodman, I wish in many respects that I had been her father and intervened for her spoken words would have told me all I needed to know. Such is the life and death of so many of the gifted.

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          1. Every sentence, when not a cry for help, a statement of abject fear of her father. Not a man to look up to. She mentions Dachau, a campsite of cruelty like no other, or perhaps the same as any other. My father was slave labour, shackled at the ankles, starved and beaten, mining coal for the Germans in the camp for captured soldiers next door. Unlike the murdered innocent Jews, all they did was to break him. I am told he was never again the outgoing happy lad who left England in his late teens. Poor Sylvia. I shall think of her whenever I think of the inexplicable paternal abuse, so rife then and now. My sincere thanks, Mia.

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          2. It’s quite the poem, very revealing, brilliant and at the same time most unsettling. There’s been much criticism about her use of the Holocaust as a metaphor for her own feelings. It’s been said that her father was Pro-Nazi, there’s also speculation that her mother was part Jewish. If true, quite the background to fuel her writing.

            I’m saddened to read about your father, it’s understandable that he wasn’t the same after the war, a devastating time in our history.

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          3. In my late night pondering I listened as if her words were actual and thus entirely missed the metaphor. My old brain gets like that sometimes. I must read more about this incredibly talented gal.

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          4. Mike, I think you’re spot on, “Every sentence, when not a cry for help, a statement of abject fear of her father.” While she does use incredible metaphors, there’s must be much truth behind her words, surmising here, because she’s considered a great confessional poet. Interesting plus, her father was investigated by the FBI during WWI, it was noted that he had a “morbid disposition”.

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  5. Powerful poem, disturbing image, Mia. I tried to comment earlier in the day, but WP was acting up so my comment is somewhere in dev null. I think I might of had something worthwhile to say, but now that I’m at the end of the work day, whatever thoughts I had this morning are lost in gray matter.

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  6. I didn’t realize she had such a British-sounding voice. But what power in it: “I am ready for enormity.” With your pieces I always set aside a great amount of time and make sure I’m focused on the art. So I was able to get to it today and it was well worth the wait, the entirety of the composition.

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    1. Sylvia’s voice is quite interesting, it’s wonderful to listen to her. I agree, that is a fabulously powerful line, sadly a foretelling of the future. Thank you, Amaya, for your kindness. Please have a lovely Tuesday.

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  7. Mia, I’ve been thinking about this for a while now. A family member made a similar choice as Sylvia many years ago. I’ve often wondered how the desperation for some “slips through the cracks” with all too painful of an ease. Thanks for the poem and hope all is well for you this week. -Chris

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    1. Dear Mr. Cake, I’ve just read, “Take Me Tomorrow”. I’m in love with this piece, not because it make me feel good, quite the opposite. It’s the rude awakening while sleepwalking in a cactus garden. It made me feel, feel horrible, remember, wish I’d forget, the cycle of the fringe, the fringe of self-preservation. I wanted you to know how great it is, while I attempt to get it together and appear more articulate on your blog, when I stop over later. I always love to see your poetry. I have an interesting challenge for you, I hope it’s one you will like. It could make you famous or infamous, does it matter? It’s all up for grabs!

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      1. I can’t wait for the challenge , well feckless and reckless is me. The poem isn’t about me, but certainly some traits of mine are in there. A composite portrait of you like. Sorry to have made you feel horrible, I do like my strong wine and red meat but maybe I should lighten up a bit?

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        1. Not horrible in the sense of horrible, but horrible in the way it triggers thoughts and that I think serves as inspiration. For that I thank you. Yes, of course we never write about ourselves, never. You must have been channeling an open source. That is your poem, isn’t it? No, never lighten up, that’s what makes you Cake.

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          1. It is my poem, doesn’t it have my trademark eroticism that wavers uncertainly between mysticism and cynicism. God knows nobody has ever tried to patent it before. As for channeling, well you know I contemplate certain figures intently, maybe it does seep in at some level. Thank you as always.

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          2. I know it is, I was kidding. It most definitely has your signature trademark, and leaves me looking over my shoulder to see who’s watching me. I think rather my point was no matter how far we try not to confess while writing all of our experiences enhance our work, and if put into a lineup could be called out. It could be subliminal or subconscious, I think it’s impossible to step away from it 100%. Also as for channeling, and I do so hate this phrase, “like attracts like”, sometimes, “like attacks like”, I prefer. Maybe mindset, thought pattern can be isolated into groups, categories, etc., just a though, you know the whole common thread thing.

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          3. Yes, as Blake said opposition is true friendship. It is impossible to truly objective and suppress subjective experience, especially as I write with little forethought, more just phrases and I was thinking about the Marquis in the Tower of Liberty and I just hope that it holds together.

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        1. I saw a flash of it. I’ve been climbing sand stairs of late, never able to get to the top and unable to free myself from the grind of the grains to sit for long to visit. My apologies, I hope to remedy this soon. Have you ever written a manifesto?

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  8. The Plath effect coined by DR James Kaufman
    creative writers on the expiration list.

    awesome poem/write, well penned Mia

    a tribute to a tribute

    ———————————————————————————————-

    “writing our own tragedies tossing us under the bus”

    They let the medieval pond backdrop crash before curtain call
    the swan song with glee
    chanting with calamity
    and smiles that could drunk drive crash cars
    the joy jostles as a base jumping from electric power poles
    the pulpit suits wanting money for gods mini mall with 400 stores for all of your shopping needs
    bourbon and upright bass lipstick lasts in my mouth making it more than i could bare
    lit up as a thousand marquee movie lights
    cantos from a steel cage mind cracking the air with apparitions
    and you shall know my name when you meet me at the makers hot iron branding station

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    1. Zaroff, thank you for making me smile, and for the kind words. I love, love, love, what you’ve done with the Apparition poetry. It’s terrific, what a talent you have! I’m looking forward to knowing your name when I meet you at the makers hot iron branding station! Amen!

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  9. “As ghosts in need
    Slip through cracks
    Empty-handed, giftless
    Greeting Gods
    On the other side of tomorrow” – what an ending! Seems we always look for a perfect one to last lifetimes… the reading was a nice treat Mia, thank you. ♥

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  10. The deep darkness that lies beneath the light we see in creativity ~ is can be completely terrifying, and yet we are drawn in by these contradictions. Simply beautiful prose, Mia, and while holding such sadness, there is the beautiful spark left behind… “Clouds of camphor and hypocrisy, Waft through stale air…” and then the belief we hold from such darkness, you eloquently release a sigh for me with “Greeting Gods, On the other side of tomorrow” Wishing you a wonderful weekend and great start to the spring, take care Mia.

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    1. Dear Randall, thank you for your beautiful words, it’s always a pleasure to read them. I find in my mind if I can somehow come up with a magical ending to a tragic story, “Greeting Gods…”, it helps me reconcile the sad bleakness of events. Spring is my favorite time of year, it’s a time to thrive. Thank you, enjoy the shift in seasons and have a wonderful Monday, and week ahead. Please take good care. 🙂

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      1. Agree Mia, coming up with a magical ending does help us reconcile life at times ~ and you have a way, a gift, of doing this like no other. One of the many reasons people love your work. Looking forward to the spring, and wishing you the best. 🙂

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