September 2nd, 2010


Paying one's debts

Sylvia Plath

Prefer to think of her riding a horse
that lean strong horse she thought of as her style
than where she rode - fast mile by gloomy mile
to Camden and the oven. If the source

of all she wrote were sadness, aching pain
final despair, we would not care so much.
There's feather-lightness in her brutal touch
that claws our heart. The scars she leaves remain

for years after we read her, but as well
there's all that fierce glee, that arrogance,
that sense of grabbing us into her dance
that joy at showing us her private hell.

She laid down, breathed in gas and quickly died.
Being the best at dying was her pride

Another composer

George Friedrich Handel

If there's a heaven, he would often think,
it sounds just like my music, how the strings
bound yet are ordered, how the choir sings
stretching its voices. Mere pen and ink

God's instruments to help him show a crowd
of idle people how they might be wise
might live like Christians, if they'd turn their eyes
from quiet sins to virtue sung out loud

and then he'd shut that notebook, smile and laugh
mock his own pride, The very same high note
that praises God above was one that he wrote
in airs of love abandoned. He was half

in love with pagan joy, passion and lust.
Loved god, in music placed his deepest trust.