I just wrote this about my “relationship” with Sylvia Plath and would love feedback from any and all of my readers, especially constructive criticism.
Two years ago,
I had a dream
that I met you at a reading.
Somehow, you were both alive and
a successful Lady Lazarus.
I ran to you, told you how beautiful you were, how talented you were,
how sad I was that you had decided to die
that you finally got it right that time—
“No, kids, Mommy’s not making a cake.
Mommy’s done making cakes.”
I woke up confused, because I always thought I hated you, Sylvia.
I have bad-mouthed you for years,
that you feed into the stereotype
that women writers are mad:
insane mad, angry mad, stay-away mad.
I did hate you, Sylvia—
I hated all of you that was in me:
I hated the inability to be a happy housewife,
the inability to shut up and smile,
the inability to just be happy.
I was afraid of you, Sylvia—
feared that people would read my work and point to you,
feared that the poet within me meant that you were within me,
feared that I would not grow out of my Esther Greenwood disillusionment.
I’ve learned to make peace with you, Sylvia,
the you within me, Sylvia—
angry, dissatisfied, sometimes frightening,
beautiful, talented, and always lovely.