Friday, July 24, 2009

a piranha religion

I may be the last poet to discover the Favorite Poem Project, but just in case not, here's a sample of the glory of this idea of Robert Pinsky's that the medium of a poem is not the words, but the breath, voice and body of each person as he or she reads that poem, especially a favorite one, out loud.
Nick and the Candlestick
by Sylvia Plath
chosen and read by Seph Rodney, photographer
I am a miner. The light burns blue.
Waxy stalactites
Drip and thicken, tears
The earthen womb
Exudes from its dead boredom.
Black bat airs
Wrap me, raggy shawls,
Cold homicides.
They weld to me like plums.
Old cave of calcium
Icicles, old echoer.
Even the newts are white,
Those holy Joes.
And the fish, the fish--
Christ! They are panes of ice,
A vice of knives,
A piranha
Religion, drinking
Its first communion out of my live toes.
The candle
Gulps and recovers its small altitude,
Its yellows hearten.
O love, how did you get here?
O embryo
Remembering, even in sleep,
Your crossed position.
The blood blooms clean
In you, ruby.
The pain
You wake to is not yours.
Love, love,
I have hung our cave with roses.
With soft rugs--
The last of Victoriana.
Let the stars
Plummet to their dark address,
Let the mercuric
Atoms that cripple drip
Into the terrible well,
You are the one
Solid the spaces lean on, envious.
You are the baby in the barn.


  1. Wow. What a pick. What a reader!

  2. Hi, Heidi! So glad you found Poetry Friday. Didn't see you at the conference this weekend -- it was busy (huge faculty).
    I love Plath, but didn't know this poem. It reminds me a little of "Mirror" at the end.


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