Wednesday Poetry Café (September 29)

At long last, I’ve finally been able to do another Poetry Café post.  I’ve been reading Ariel by Sylvia Plath, and it has honestly taken me longer than any book of poetry should simply because I’ve been only reading a poem here and there instead of reading straight through.  Plath is one of my favorite poets, which may seem odd since much of her poetry deals with darker subjects that many don’t care to read.  Personally, I find her poetry very deep and, at times, very true.  I find her poetry very well written; although, sometimes it is a bit hard to swallow, both in subject and in form.  One of the poems I’ve particularly enjoyed is the poem that gives the book its title–“Ariel.”  If my research is correct, “Ariel” was Plath’s last poem before she tragically took her life.  Plath is truly the “master of the metaphor” with this poem.  She wrote the poem with a deeper meaning.   Re-birth is the main theme since the poem’s title comes from Hans Christian Anderson’s story “The Little Mermaid,” which is a bit different than the way Disney portrayed it.  The mermaid at the end of the real story attempts suicide, thus becoming the foam of the sea, which goes with Plath’s line “foam to wheat, a glitter of seas.”  In its entirety, the poem deals with the freedom of being reborn psychologically and breaking free from the societal norm, not unlike the experiences and feelings of Esther, the main character in Plath’s semi-autobiography The Bell Jar.  For your reading enjoyment, here is Sylvia Plath’s “Ariel.”

Ariel by Sylvia Plath
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,


Berries cast dark
Hooks –

Black sweet blood mouthfuls,

Something else

Hauls me through air –

Thighs, hair;
Flakes from my heels.


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.