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Electra On Azalea Path Analysis

Author: poem of Sylvia Plath Type: poem Views: 21

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The day you died I went into the dirt,

Into the lightless hibernaculum

Where bees, striped black and gold, sleep out the blizzard

Like hieratic stones, and the ground is hard.

It was good for twenty years, that wintering --

As if you never existed, as if I came

God-fathered into the world from my mother's belly:

Her wide bed wore the stain of divinity.

I had nothing to do with guilt or anything

When I wormed back under my mother's heart.

Small as a doll in my dress of innocence

I lay dreaming your epic, image by image.

Nobody died or withered on that stage.

Everything took place in a durable whiteness.

The day I woke, I woke on Churchyard Hill.

I found your name, I found your bones and all

Enlisted in a cramped necropolis

your speckled stone skewed by an iron fence.

In this charity ward, this poorhouse, where the dead

Crowd foot to foot, head to head, no flower

Breaks the soil. This is Azalea path.

A field of burdock opens to the south.

Six feet of yellow gravel cover you.

The artificial red sage does not stir

In the basket of plastic evergreens they put

At the headstone next to yours, nor does it rot,

Although the rains dissolve a bloody dye:

The ersatz petals drip, and they drip red.

Another kind of redness bothers me:

The day your slack sail drank my sister's breath

The flat sea purpled like that evil cloth

My mother unrolled at your last homecoming.

I borrow the silts of an old tragedy.

The truth is, one late October, at my birth-cry

A scorpion stung its head, an ill-starred thing;

My mother dreamed you face down in the sea.

The stony actors poise and pause for breath.

I brought my love to bear, and then you died.

It was the gangrene ate you to the bone

My mother said: you died like any man.

How shall I age into that state of mind?

I am the ghost of an infamous suicide,

My own blue razor rusting at my throat.

O pardon the one who knocks for pardon at

Your gate, father -- your hound-bitch, daughter, friend.

It was my love that did us both to death.


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