“I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;

I lift my lids and all is born again.

(I think I made you up inside my head.)

               The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,

               And arbitrary blackness gallops in:

               I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed

And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.

(I think I made you up inside my head.)

               God topples from the sky, hell`s fires fade:

               Exit seraphim and Satan`s men:

               I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I fancied you`d return the way you said,

But I grow old and I forget your name.

(I think I made you up inside my head.)

               I should have loved a thunderbird instead;

               At least when spring comes they roar back again.

               (I think I made you up inside my head.)”

~~ Sylvia Plath, Mad Girl`s Love Song ~~”

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Cards on the table: I have suffered from depression since my late teens and poets such as Sylvia Plath and Virginia Woolf speak directly into my soul. I know intimately what they felt and suffered; every day an emotional mixer of putting on a `face` for your public while inside you are screaming so loud as to almost drown out the world around you.

In 1962, Sylvia explained that although her poetry came out of her “emotional and sensuous experiences”, she believed that: “One should be able to manipulate these experiences with an informed and an intelligent mind.” Even with a primitive, emotional reaction to something, there must be an intellectual discipline.

Where did her rage come from? Feminists made much of her after her death; she seemed dismayed by her own gender, and perhaps wanted a full blown cave man. All seems to be answered and explained away by arguing that she was bi-polar and not subject to the rules of sanity.

For all of the posthumous inventions swirling around her, some of them were invented by the woman herself. It is not beyond normal instinct to embellish personal history – even Ernest Hemingway did it. Writers have fertile imaginations; their still waters run very deep, and truth and reality can sometimes take second place behind the urge to spin a good tale.

Sylvia Plath ascended to literary heaven as a potent symbol for feminist martyrdom after the publication of Ariel in 1965; she has become an immortal, and we seek to experience ways of experiencing this gift of the gods through a beautiful, young genius such as Sylvia Plath, who, in our imaginations, will never die, but live forever in the words of her poems which embroil us in a perpetual daydream.

The patron saint of passive aggressives and queen of internal rage still looks down imperiously upon her subjects from Olympus.


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