Everywhere, imperceptibly or otherwise, things are passing, ending, going. And there will be other summers, other band concerts, but never this one, never again, never as now. Next year I will not be the self of this year now. And that is why I laugh at the transient, the ephemeral; laugh, while clutching, holding, tenderly, like a fool his toy, cracked glass, water through fingers.
―Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
But I must get back into the world of my creative mind: otherwise, in the world of pies & shin beef, I die. The great vampire cook extracts the nourishment & I grow fat on the corruption of matter, mere mindless matter. I must be lean & write & make worlds beside this to live in.
―Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, Monday, March 4, 1957
I knew I should be grateful to Mrs Guinea, only I couldn’t feel a thing. If Mrs. Guinea had given me a ticket to Europe, or a round-the-world cruise, it wouldn’t have made one scrap of difference to me, because wherever I sat – on the deck of a ship or a street cafe in Paris or Bangkok – I would be sitting under the same glass bell jar, stewing in my own sour air.
―Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
Yes, I was infatuated with you: I am still. No one has ever heightened such a keen capacity of physical sensation in me. I cut you out because I couldn’t stand being a passing fancy. Before I give my body, I must give my thoughts, my mind, my dreams. And you weren’t having any of those.
I didn’t want my picture taken because I was going to cry. I didn’t know why I was going to cry, but I knew that if anybody spoke to me or looked at me too closely the tears would fly out of my eyes and the sobs would fly out of my throat and I’d cry for a week. I could feel the tears brimming and sloshing in me like water in a glass that is unsteady and too full.
Fifty years ago today, a brilliant young poet sealed her kitchen off from her sleeping children with towels, placed her head in the oven and turned on the gas. Unable to reconcile the red passion of her existence with the blue of her depression, Sylvia Plath took her life before her thirty-first birthday. Today she remains an enigma that continues to dialogue with us about creativity, feminism, and depression.
This is a lovely, touching choreographed performance of Tulips from Plath’s famous collection, Ariel, by Taffety Punk Theatre Company in Washington, DC.
Rest in Peace, Sylvia.
Directed by Joel David Santner, Concept & Narration by Lise Bruneau, Choreography & Performance by Erin F. Mitchell, Narration Recorded by Paul Boehmer, Music & Sound by Marcus Kyd. TPUNK004