Tag Archives: Sylvia Plath

“Such queer moons we live with”

For February’s Objects poem, I point you to Sylvia Plath’s “Balloons” from 1965’s Ariel.

I love the piling on of descriptions of balloons in this poem, “Guileless and clear, / Oval soul-animals”, “queer moons”, “Traveling / Globes of thin air”. Sometimes I’m not sure what to make of the stanza that goes off sideways, leaves the living room, the long simile about a peacock feather “beaten in starry metals”, except that it is as delightful, she’s right.

And note all the sound texture, all the “l”s in the first stanza (lived, guileless, clear, oval soul-animals, half, silk) and then again in the 3rd and 4th (walls, travelling, globes, delighting, like, blessing, metals, small). Continue reading

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I Still Love My Wicked Wicked Ways

Sandra Cisneros’s 1991 books My Wicked Wicked Ways was one of the first collections I read seriously as poetry outside of class. This was early high school — at about the same time Carl Sandburg, Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath were big for me. (Cisneros is of course the author of The House on Mango Street, which I also love and think everyone should read.)

I picked it up My Wicked Wicked Ways again recently and I still love some of these poems, just love. You always have these vague ideas, early on, about who poets are, what kind of person a poet can be, should be. I don’t know if this was true for everyone but for me Sexton and Plath, the crazy suicidal confessionists, or Dickinson the recluse in a white dress were sort of the readily available models when I was first getting going in poetry seriously, in terms of how to be a female poet. Sexton, Plath, Dickinson — or Sandra Cisneros, precise and beautiful and sometimes sad but also always so alive and full of beautiful images and style. Continue reading

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