Extra Poem: 'I Am Vertical' by Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath

Dear Sylvia. I read The Bell Jar in college and kinda wished I could go crazy and be committed. I seem to remember reading a biography, too, or maybe just a lot of articles about her, her marriage to that jerk, Ted, and her death at 30, by suicide. 

Maybe Ted wasn't really a jerk, but what I read led me to feel that way. 

Yesterday, a friend sent me 'I Am Vertical' by Sylvia Plath. I read it while I was at the salon getting my gray covered up (yay, hair dye!), which seemed rather superficial, but what are you going to do? Leave and go to the park? I don't think so, not with gray roots.

If I've read this poem before, I don't remember, but I like it quite a bit.  

Plath suffered from depression and I could feel it as I read. But I also understand what she's saying; I can relate to her feelings about horizontal v. vertical, and especially being more useful to nature at the end of life. 

If for some reason I'm not cremated when I die, I really don't want to be buried in a box. I want to be useful to the roots and worms. 

Just putting that out there. 

Plath's poetry is classified as confessional poetry. At the time she was writing, in the 1950's, this was a relatively new way of writing poetry.

Our world is so confessional now, it's hard to imagine a time when it wasn't. 

I wrote some really bad confessional poetry in college. I don't remember for sure, but there's probably a good chance it coincided with my interest in Sylvia Plath. Hopefully it was destroyed or lost in a move or something. 

There's much I feel I can add to a discussion of Sylvia Plath. Her work speaks for itself. I will end with a quote I found during my research. 

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” 
- Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

(Thanks, Sara! :)

Week Five: Creative - Poem-A-Day

  1. Day One - Names
  2. Extra Poem - I Am Vertical
  3. Day Two - Non-lieux
  4. Extra Poem - Bring on the Goddamn Cat
  5. Day Three - As a Portent
  6. Extra Poem - To Autumn
  7. Day Four - Playback
  8. Day Five - Last Night
  9. Day Six - Black Cat
  10. Day Seven - Weave In, My Hardy Life
  11. Extra Poems
  12. Conclusion