Friday, February 25, 2005

Love is not Love which alters when its alteration finds....

Sylvia Plath (books by this author) met Hughes at a party in a bar, and the next morning she wrote about the encounter in her journal. She spent most of the evening talking to someone else, who she described as, "some ugly, gat-toothed squat grinning guy named Meeson trying to be devastatingly clever." She said the party was "very bohemian, with boys in turtleneck sweaters and girls being blue-eye-lidded or elegant in black." Plath had been drinking a little, and she wrote, "The jazz was beginning to get under my skin, and I started dancing with Luke and knew I was very bad, having crossed the river and banged into the trees..."

Plath said, "Then the worst thing happened, that big, dark, hunky boy, the only one there huge enough for me, who had been hunching around over women, and whose name I had asked the minute I had come into the room, but no one told me, came over and was looking hard in my eyes and it was Ted Hughes."

Plath quoted one of his poems to him, and he guided her to a side room of the bar. She wrote of that moment, "And then he kissed me bang smash on the mouth and ripped my hair band off, my lovely red hair band scarf which had weathered the sun and much love, and whose like I shall never again find, and my favorite silver earrings: hah, I shall keep, he barked. And when he kissed my neck I bit him long and hard on the cheek, and when we came out of the room, blood was running down his face."

Plath composed a poem over the next few days after meeting Hughes. Called "Pursuit," it was a poem about a woman being hunted by a panther and was a response to a Hughes poem called "The Jaguar." Plath spent the night with Hughes and his friend in their London flat right before going on a spring vacation in Europe. When she returned, they spent even more time together, and after seeing so much of each other for a couple of months, they started thinking about marriage.

They got married on June 16th, four months after that first meeting, but it was a secret wedding because they didn't want to jeopardize Plath's fellowship or academic career. The ceremony was in the Church of Saint George the Martyr in London. Plath wore a pink suit, and Hughes gave her a pink rose to hold as she walked down the aisle.

Plath and Hughes spent the rest of that summer in Paris, Madrid, and the small town of Benindorm in Spain. They passed their days swimming, studying, and writing. Plath wrote the poems "Dream with Clam Diggers," Fiesta Melons," and "The Goring" as well as many others while on this honeymoon. Plath told a friend many years later that Hughes had gotten very angry with her during that trip and tried to choke her while they sat on a hill. She said she had resigned herself to die while it was happening, and she worried she had made the wrong decision in getting married so soon after meeting him.

Plath and Hughes decided to separate in 1962, right after they had moved back to England and had a second child. Plath discovered that Hughes was having an affair. She said in an interview that year, "I much prefer doctors, midwives, lawyers, anything but writers. I think writers and artists are the most narcissistic people [...] I'm fascinated by this mastery of the practical. As a poet, one lives a bit on air. I always like someone who can teach me something practical."

Plath committed suicide in 1963 by sticking her head in an oven. Hughes's mistress would also kill herself years later using the same method. Hughes was left in control of Plath's estate, and he edited her poems and controlled what of hers was published and what was not. He once was met on a trip to Australia by protestors holding signs that accused him of murdering Plath. Plath fans trying to chip away the word "Hughes" from her name on the tombstone have repeatedly vandalized her grave in Yorkshire, England.

Nom de plume

Mark Twain, George Eliot, O. Henry....what's a poor writer to do?

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Recipe for Dragon Stew (help!!!!!!!!)

First step in killing the dragon--get organized! Find a set time for work (H.W.) Writing...keep your room clean, go through old clothes. Return mounds of library books. Throw away lighters. Serious consider the amount of caffeine you ingest on any given day as being lethal (esp. if you're a pygmy). Make your bed everymorning. Quit clicking on ex-girlfriends blogg every two seconds to see who she's currently banging. Realize that you live with a very nice old man who has helped you out. Realize that you don't want to live there forever. Send out manuscripts more faithfully. Send your mother a valentine card. Don't sleep with girls you hardly know just to feel better about yer'self. Apply for auto insurance. Try to do laundry more than twice a semester. Budget!!!!!! Think about giving up caffeine and alcohol for lent (last year I gave up chastity and sobriety)...Smile at everyone you meet. Hold doors open for females. Be polite. Quit talking about yourself so much--focus more on the other person. Don't be Bette Midler, where in an interview she once said "Enough about me--what do you think about me?"

Be careful how many times you use the F word in public. Wash your hands. Be open minded. Make everyone around you feel like they're golden, even those f'ing Indian students who always seem to break the computers at work. Live your dreams. Most importantly recognize that place where you have come from no longer exists. Quit reminiscing about the past. Realize that you're a different person now. That you're always growing, evolving and that this Lizard silhouette is sometimes just a part of us that is comfortable and doesn't want to grow....most importantly smile. I read somewhere once that you burn just as much calories smiling and laughing as you do while having sex.

Laugh. Pull petty pranks. Tell your girlfriend she's beautiful. Be devout in your routine. Push-ups and situps before bedtime. Run around with the little kids. Realize that NO matter how bad you think your life is, you live in a country that has it better off than 98% of the globe. You've had your sanitized water. You've wiped your ass with something soft before flushing. Quit bitching so much.

Learn to be. Act spontaneously. Know what you want. Put the ball in the hoop. Don't be afriad to lead the life you feel that you were meant to live.