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The History of Poetry: 3 April 16, 2015

Posted by The Typist in Poetry, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Sappho…fragments…matchbook promises to call…carelessly discarded like…used Trojans…by careless men…

Romantic lovers are not heroic, this merely women, and the lyric is not yet.

Impounded in the Lost and Found by cold scholars, a curiosity, a woman of passion and talent.

I do not think she dies in the kitchen, beside an oven cold as the ashes of Dido’s pyre, eaten by crows.

“A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw…

Beware! Beware!”

More likely consumed by her own fiery passion, and the gods tend to any men who stood too close.

“Herr God, Herr Lucifer

The incendiary fragments support this analysis.

What say you, Catullus?


1. lillisamy - April 16, 2015

I interpret that you render an image that forgives S Plath. I may be way off, but I like your construct.


The Typist - April 17, 2015

As a parent I struggle with Plath’s decision. As a depressive and a poet, I find myself looking at it in entirely different ways. It doesn’t forgive Plath. It simply recognizes the external (male and her husband in particular) forces with which she struggled. Crow is one of my favorite books of poetry. so I have extremely complicated (and sometimes guilty; how can I love that book but detest the poet/husband). And I know better than to say Not All Men, I know the programming I carry (and complicated racial programming as well, having grown up in the south), and was attempting to write past that, to get inside and write from a feminist perspective of the canon, with Sappho as an exception. But then again, her work was mostly lost, not preserved, not deemed worthy. “Romantic lovers are not heroic, this merely women, and the lyric is not yet.” Go back and look at the first two entries in the series.


lillisamy - April 17, 2015

Thank you for your encompassing explanation. I usually don’t think of the Place Men Hold in society, so your interpretation struck a chord of surprise and interest.


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