We have a newly discovered Ted Hughes poem about the death of his wife, Sylvia Plath.
And I have newly discovered that I can listen to Sylvia Plath reading Lady Lazarus on YouTube.
Haunting, I’d say is my best response to both.
I’m tempted to develop a minor obsession with Ted and Sylvia for the next few weeks. This might be a fitting approach to Halloween for a poet, but I’m afraid people would think I was suicidal rather than simply celebrating the macabre.
Also, it crossed my mind to say something like “I wish people would blog about a newly discovered Sharon Gerald poem.” Only, I’d have to make it clear that I do mean without the normal prerequisite of having to die first. Unlike Sylvia, I don’t believe the art of dying well is a particular skill I have.
And then this whole question of newly discovered poems has me wondering why this particular poem is one Ted Hughes did not choose to publish in his lifetime. He did publish lots of poems about Sylvia Plath, and in his later years, I don’t imagine he was a man who got a lot of rejection letters.
Our fascination with posthumous discoveries about writers is fairly morbid in itself. Not that this would keep me from participating in the morbidity and/or passing it along.