Arial — a tiny poem #feminist #feminism #themes #Plath #poems #circusgirls #70’s #reading Plath again

Arial post Ariel

the updraft swings bright red, backwards to 13

the costumed climb, the red velvet interior

the girl you knew how to write, all blue

that reading

that kitchen you were supposed to inhabit, happy

to stir the soup, to wait on the infidelities

happy to be all smiles if he chanced to look over

the great looking is what you had to suffer, didn’t you?

you decide that Sylvia isn’t where you’re going, no matter what

no matter what you will live your own life you will cut the ties

they try to bind you in, airborne

flying like a gipsy in a circus of wild fabric


not for you the gas

not for you the poems into desperation, the bell jars of dissillusion

there is a pack of cards in your hand

a beckoning, the planet’s postures above Neptunian

the Jupiter, expansive

the red, reddening

the veins and the throb of want

the courtly, courtesan

a courtship of helium

fills the blimps, balloons in baskets


* author note working on themes in this poem — so a start.  I first read Plath in tandem with Erica Jong in the 70’s — there is a book of her poems that shows the original manuscript she left.  It’s here:

here is the book cover:

For a feminist writer like myself, revisiting this so many years later is going to be important.  I got the book yesterday, and really I wish books were being hard bound again.  I’ll take it to the beach, it will get sandy and torn and I don’t want it to.  I want to remember how much  Plath spoke into my soul as a little girl.  The poets were teaching me everything at that time.  I was also reading “For colored girls…”

So, the memoir is very tough territory to write.  It really is.  Today it is about my father so the “daddy” on her cover speaks hugely to me.


I knew going in to womanhood from my mother and poets like Plath what to look out for.

It is only in memoir that you can face down the navigation of things you had to go through.  The hardest genre, ever.

The themes I want to address int this poem is the literal circus we have had to go through as tail end baby boom women with the men who crossed our paths.

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