Saturday, February 26, 2011

the white schooner

i'm loving the writing of sylvia plath - reya's comment about sylvia's writing hovered in a sweet spot
"late february is the perfect season for the beautiful, fragile way your mind worked." it really is!!!

"the white schooner" frederick j. mulhaupt




at this wharf there are no grand landings to speak of

a gull holds his pose on a shanty ridgepole,
riding the tide of the wind, steady
the whole flat harbor anchored in
all around us the water slips
and gossips in its loose vernacular

farther out, the waves will be mouthing icecakes
even our shadows are blue with cold.
we wanted to see the sun come up
and are met, instead, by this iceribbed ship
the sun will diminish it soon enough:
each wave-tip glitters like a knife.

words excerpted from "a winter ship" sylvia plath

16 comments:

Dan Gurney said...

I'm loving the Sylvia Plath poetry, too. Thanks for leading me to it, steven. It's so fine, so precise, so cold.

Steve E said...

Love ABSOLUTELY the painting by Mulhaupt. You choose well your representations. thank you.

alaine@éclectique said...

Sylvia is one I love too...I have 'Bitter Fame - A Life of Sylvia Plath' by Anne Stevenson, which I must read again one day.

Elisabeth said...

I have an ambivalent relationship to this word 'schooner'. As much as I can enjoy the image of such a ship the word itself still sends shock waves of memory through me. At school as an adolescent I was nicknamed 'Schooney' - a derivative of my family name, and how I hated it.

Thanks, Steven.

steven said...

dan - i'm glad you're enjoying her writing. i'm messing with it of course - can't help it. however, i'm trying to bring an essence of her writing into the place the image creates. steven

steven said...

steve e. it's such a lovely work of art, the reproduction digitally and then through the blog truly doesn't give a fair representation but it is what it is. thanks for your comment. steven

steven said...

alaine - one of the many qualities i'm grateful to the blog for is that it compels me to learn more about writers and artists who i have heard of, even read once long ago, and am now returning to and really thinking and feeling them and them their work. thanks for your comment. steven

steven said...

elisabeth - well i've got a handful of nickname memories myself, not all pleasant or happy-making also. the word schooner evokes so many sensory and aesthetic sensations in me - mostly to do with the line of its body that runs from the bow and into the water. steven

aguja said...

You are doing well in conveying the essence of Sylvia Plath. She was an incredible writer. Continue enjoying all that she wrote!

And thank you for sharing it with us.

Meri said...

It's been a long time since I dug out the Plath poetry of my English major days. She's on the basement poetry shelf, not on the office poetry shelf. Perhaps she needs to move up in the world.

Jo said...

No one understands the essence of anything better than Reya.

Plath's word paintings are brilliant, and you have found an equally brilliant image to accompany them.

Waves mouthing ice cakes, and shadows being blue with cold...really, can you get any better than that?

Thank you, Steven, for the great treat today.

steven said...

aguja thankyou. i'm sure you'll agree - her words stand powerfully on their own. steven

steven said...

meri - that brought a smile to my face as i have four stages of books that reflect the degree to which they are present in my life - "the way down there", the basement, the first floor, and bedside. steven

steven said...

jo - sylvia's words are sometimes so brittle and so unrelenting and then also so insightful and mind-opening that i find it hard to resist them. i'm glad you enjoyed them. steven

Linda Sue said...

I do love Sylvia, who wouldn't, but I swear every time I read her I want to stick my head in an oven.

steven said...

yep linda sue she cuts like a butter knife . . a serrated edged butter knife. steven