Each month, JULIE will feature a piece of feminist writing in the form of poetry, song lyrics, passages from books, or short stories. If you have written a creative piece that you would like us to feature, please email it to Julie.editor1@gmail.com.

 

Lady Lazarus

By Sylvia Plath

 

I have done it again.

One year in every ten

I manage it——

 

A sort of walking miracle, my skin

Bright as a Nazi lampshade,

My right foot

 

A paperweight,

My face a featureless, fine

Jew linen.

 

Peel off the napkin

O my enemy.

Do I terrify?——

 

The nose, the eye pits, the full set of teeth?

The sour breath

Will vanish in a day.

 

Soon, soon the flesh

The grave cave ate will be

At home on me

 

And I a smiling woman.

I am only thirty.

And like the cat I have nine times to die.

 

This is Number Three.

What a trash

To annihilate each decade.

 

What a million filaments.

The peanut-crunching crowd

Shoves in to see

 

Them unwrap me hand and foot——

The big strip tease.

Gentlemen, ladies

 

These are my hands

My knees.

I may be skin and bone,

 

Nevertheless, I am the same, identical woman.

The first time it happened I was ten.

It was an accident.

 

The second time I meant

To last it out and not come back at all.

I rocked shut

 

As a seashell.

They had to call and call

And pick the worms off me like sticky pearls.

 

Dying

Is an art, like everything else.

I do it exceptionally well.

 

I do it so it feels like hell.

I do it so it feels real.

I guess you could say I’ve a call.

 

It’s easy enough to do it in a cell.

It’s easy enough to do it and stay put.

It’s the theatrical

 

Comeback in broad day

To the same place, the same face, the same brute

Amused shout:

 

‘A miracle!’

That knocks me out.

There is a charge

 

For the eyeing of my scars, there is a charge

For the hearing of my heart——

It really goes.

 

And there is a charge, a very large charge

For a word or a touch

Or a bit of blood

 

Or a piece of my hair or my clothes.

So, so, Herr Doktor.

So, Herr Enemy.

 

I am your opus,

I am your valuable,

The pure gold baby

 

That melts to a shriek.

I turn and burn.

Do not think I underestimate your great concern.

 

Ash, ash—

You poke and stir.

Flesh, bone, there is nothing there——

 

A cake of soap,

A wedding ring,

A gold filling.

 

Herr God, Herr Lucifer

Beware

Beware.

 

Out of the ash

I rise with my red hair

And I eat men like air.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s