Sunday, May 10, 2009

I keep thinking about Plath

I keep thinking about Plath, how she's just not a foundational poet for me--I had no Plath moments in high school or college--and I can't be the only white girl Feminist poet in the entire universe to feel this way. My relationship to Plath (and Sexton, and Rich) begins in retrospect (i.e. after I was already very much a poet and very much a Feminist. And I've always been white). And by the time I found them, they seemed..well...weighty, formal, rich, and alien. Sexton, thus far, remains my favorite.

More about this later.


Nada said...

The Bell Jar is a terrific novel, I think, like Salinger from a young woman's perspective.

I like Plath, kind of a lot, but although I was exposed to her very young (like, twelve?) I don't think I would call her (for me) "foundational."

Still, I love her melodrama.

"Out of the ash/ I rise/ with my red hair/and I eat men like air."

(I'm guessing at the lineation there.)

K. Lorraine Graham said...

That's some pretty winning melodrama, for sure. I've tried the Bell Jar a few times, but not recently--but I'm often like that with some books. I have to be in the right headspace.

I often wonder what I would have thought of Plath if I'd been exposed to her before I'd finished high school.

K. Grady said...

I was always was impressed by Plath's inventiveness. To use the same image in poems often a day apart to mean something quite different. It takes a great imagination for that. or a poetic will that can mold the environment as it wishes.

K. Lorraine Graham said...

Hi K. Grady--thanks for your comment. Would you mind being more specific--what kinds of images are you thinking of? It's been some time since I read Ariel...

K. Grady said...

in reference to the collected poems. from memory the sound/presence of the train near her.
by bibliomancy right now I land on the year 1963 Sheep in fog and the Munich Manniquins . both use snow first as whiteness=cold as snow breath in fact the latter riffs on snow in a few different ways. ha the first one has the train.Totem the train again. snow appears again in latter poems etc.
a random pick too

jeannine said...

I was introduced to Plath about ten years after I read Emily D. and Edna St. Vincent Millay. When I finally read her, I was impressed by her humor; I always read "Daddy" as a fabulously funny poem. I didn't read Sexton's Transformations until a year after I'd published my book, and only because everyone kept telling me, "This reminds me of Transformations."