Have a lovely and relaxing close to Spring Quarter!

Posted by Natalie Strobach on June 01, 2012
Curated Confections / No Comments

This is the last weekend of Spring Quarter at the University of California Davis! I have to get through final grading, but after that I will be enjoying a two-week break before teaching my McNair courses Summer Session I and II. It’s hard to believe that this quarter’s French II students are not only my last French students at Davis, but that this was my last quarter of teaching here! I’ll write more later on the fellowship I won for next year, but for now…I’m going to share a little Plath with you.

I can’t exactly pinpoint why the rhythm of this poem makes me certain it is intended for summer. Is it the mention of pink fizz that, as horrific as is the actual reference, only makes me think of cold pink champagne on a stifling summer night? It is, hands down (ha), my favorite Plath poem. Enjoy!

Cut by Sylvia Plath
for Susan O’Neill Roe

What a thrill —-
My thumb instead of an onion.
The top quite gone
Except for a sort of hinge

Of skin,
A flap like a hat,
Dead white.
Then that red plush.

Little pilgrim,
The Indian’s axed your scalp.
Your turkey wattle
Carpet rolls

Straight from the heart.
I step on it,
Clutching my bottle
Of pink fizz. A celebration, this is.
Out of a gap
A million soldiers run,
Redcoats, every one.

Whose side are they one?
O my
Homunculus, I am ill.
I have taken a pill to kill

The thin
Papery feeling.
Kamikaze man —-

The stain on your
Gauze Ku Klux Klan
Darkens and tarnishes and when
The balled
Pulp of your heart
Confronts its small
Mill of silence

How you jump —-
Trepanned veteran,
Dirty girl,
Thumb stump.