Drabble on Plath


Nella serie Great Poets, il Guardian pubblica la prefazione di Margaret Drabble (non perdetevi il suo libro For Queen and Country) a una raccolta di poesie di Sylvia Plath.

Her poems about her children – Morning Song, You’re, Nick and the Candlestick – are, I believe, the first poems ever to celebrate the pleasures of breast feeding. She evokes the independent being of a baby, the power and mystery of the maternal bond. She struggled with her role as a Good Wife of the 1950s, oppressed by her husband’s greater freedom and an uncomfortable, angry, vestigial sense of duty, but her delight in her children flows irrepressibly. Writing to her mother of the birth of her son Nick, she describes how “this great bluish, glistening boy shot out onto the bed in a wave of tidal water that drenched all four of us to the skin, howling lustily.” The colour and energy of this childbed description (which appears in several poems) struck those of us who were her contemporaries as something wholly new in literature. Here was a whole new world of sensation, familiar throughout women’s history, but at last captured and acknowledged in words. It was a broken taboo, a new dawn of freedom.

La mia copia delle poesie della Plath (testo originale e traduzione di Giovanni Giudici, del lontano 1982) sta ormai cadendo a pezzi; per fortuna, qualcuno ha pensato di raccogliere 230 poesie della Plath in un’unica pagina. C’è anche la mia preferita in assoluto, Daddy, che però è troppo lunga da riportare qui. Quindi vi offro questa, intitolata The Applicant:

First, are you our sort of a person?
Do you wear
A glass eye, false teeth or a crutch,
A brace or a hook,
Rubber breasts or a rubber crotch,
Stitches to show something’s missing? No, no? Then
How can we give you a thing?
Stop crying.
Open your hand.
Empty? Empty. Here is a hand

To fill it and willing
To bring teacups and roll away headaches
And do whatever you tell it.
Will you marry it?
It is guaranteed

To thumb shut your eyes at the end
And dissolve of sorrow.
We make new stock from the salt.
I notice you are stark naked
How about this suit –

Black and stiff, but not a bad fit.
Will you marry it?
It is waterproof, shatterproof, proof
Against fire and bombs through the roof.
Believe me, they’ll bury you in it.

Now your head, excuse me, is empty.
I have the ticket for that.
Come here, sweetie, out of the closet.
Well, what do you think of
Naked as paper to start

But in twenty-five years she’ll be silver,
In fifty, gold.
A living doll, everywhere you look.
It can sew, it can cook,
It can talk, talk, talk.

It works, there is nothing wrong with it.
You have a hole, it’s a poultice.
You have an eye, it’s an image.
My boy, it’s your last resort.
Will you marry it, marry it, marry it.

Postato da: IM


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