A death tree (to Sylvia Plath).

avoid the outgrown garden,
her gown cut like a humming-bird
a cry of flesh and bone

a death tree for you

I often wonder where you've gone
summer grows over your body,
and I can't help but imagine

eyes to yours, a page of yours
a scripture, untouchable, in legacy
as the fuchsia grows on your grave

can't help but think 
thawing in fugue, trapping words
as heavy as your childhood

I am guilty of envy (poets often are)
a young woman; I wonder who you'd be now,
I wish your heart stayed beating;

a ship root into the sea,
and ash into the wood,
stunned by violets,
I lie; I am trapped by your words.

© 2021 lucysworks.com All Rights Reserved.

Written for the dVerse 5/18/21 prompt:

Select ONE of our favourite poets (a celebrated or a lesser known one) and write a poem either

  • About them (the indirect voice, as exemplified in the first two poems)
  • Addressing them in the direct voice.

It’s no secret how much I adore Sylvia Plath’s work. It’s wondrous, beautiful, and at times, tragic. She’s a poet that mystifies me completely, captivates a scenery beyond sheer word, and I wish she could have been on this earth for a while longer. It’s strange to miss someone that you never knew/never met, and who was gone long before you existed; I hope she’s in peace now.

85 thoughts on “A death tree (to Sylvia Plath).”

  1. I really like your tribute to Silvia Plath. Your images are so real as you lament the loss of a great writer. Wishing her heart and not stopped as she would have been a ships root into the sea…
    I often wonder where you’ve gone
    summer grows over your body … what a great image!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I thought the same when reading through dVerse tonight, hence that particular line especially when it’s something I’ve experienced before. Thank you so much for your feedback!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I love Sylvia’s style and you write it so well here! It’s easy to get trapped in her words and it’s interesting how we do come to know these legends in an intimate way as they are immortalized on the page as a “scripture, untouchable” yet very real and flawed like all of us.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Oh, Lucy yes! I really feel this. I lost my mum to suicide and she was a fan of Plath’s poetry, so I’m basically in bits now.
    ‘I wish your heart stayed beating’

    Liked by 3 people

  4. This is brilliant Lucy. Sylvia did a helluva’ lotta’ livin’ in her 31 years — and not all easy. A most intelligent women. She began expressing herself in verse before she reached double digits in age. Excellent writing my ftiend! 👌

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I’m not a fan of Plath, but I think it’s nice that you have so much brightness, summer and hummingbirds in your poem to her. Being familiar with Heptonstall the place where Hughes dumped her and where she’s buried, I’d say those are things she’d appreciate.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Being a huge fan of Plath, I really admire the emotion, the intensity of your tribute poem especially; “I often wonder where you’ve gone summer grows over your body, and I can’t help but imagine eyes to yours, a page of yours a scripture, untouchable, in legacy as the fuchsia grows on your grave.”💝💝

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Well done tree treat. In this place I say hello to the hummingbird who only knows the nectar of the latest flower that it dances for. It is frivolous on the grave. A child will bring you to a feeder, and read you words, sing a song for rapid wings, maybe learn for you to play a non sequitur like “the flight of the bumble bee” just because it is fast and quickly done like life and death, to be in fugue in flight and in whimsical sadness until stunned in violet.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Oh Lucy….a wonderful tribute to this most excellent writer and complex woman.
    “as the fuchsia grows on your grave” and I love how you’ve embedded this bright color into this poem.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Wondrous, beautiful, and tragic notes seep into this piece! I love the metaphors that draw on the rawness of an outgrown garden and the more forest-y elements of fuchsia that loves cool areas and shade. I feel not death in this piece but a more mellow passing, perhaps of thought or imagination or simply something like youth that is slipping away and cannot be caught.
    Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Sylvia Plath is one of my favourite poets. I think she would have liked this poem! Plus, the fact that you used the imagery of a tree to convey your feelings is kind of significant, since Plath herself wrote poems revolving around trees too, like “Elm” and “The Moon and the Yew Tree”. This was a lovely tribute to her!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I wrote poetry for them. My Purgatory Inn series. They are waiting for me at the Purgatory Inn. I hope one day. To sit and have a long conversation with dear Lucy. If we read their words. They are still alive for us.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. This is stunning, especially because I know how old you are. The gown cut like a hummingbird, stunned by violets, all of it. Bravo!

    Liked by 1 person

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