m a r g i n a l i a

notes from a creative writing PhD candidate

sylvia plath’s “the rival”

We all know someone like this, don’t we?  Nailed it, Sylvia.

 

The Rival

If the moon smiled, she would resemble you.

You leave the same impression

Of something beautiful, but annihilating.

Both of you are great light borrowers.

Her O-mouth grieves at the world; yours is unaffected,

 

And your first gift is making stone out of everything.

I wake to a mausoleum; you are here,

Ticking your fingers on the marble table, looking for

cigarettes,

Spiteful as a woman, but not so nervous,

And dying to say something unanswerable.

 

The moon, too, abases her subjects,

But in the daytime she is ridiculous.

Your dissatisfactions, on the other hand,

Arrive through the mailslot with loving regularity,

White and blank, expansive as carbon monoxide.

 

No day is safe from news of you,

Walking about in Africa maybe, but thinking of me.

–Sylvia Plath

From her collection Ariel, published in 1961

0115549_H

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: