Sunday, July 5, 2009

Survived, Sustained

The Matron is pleased to report that she survived the briefest of forays into the wilds of Wisconsin. Wilds? Okay, the lake in which she dipped her toe is part of a sprawling collection populated by one cabin after another. She was exactly six minutes from espresso and a store (which is why she survived it).

Still, nothing suits an urban girl more than a return to the city. Just to see that cityscape, with all its promise ahead!

As part of reorientation, the Matron immediately locked herself in her bedroom and prepared for a return to full-time work and parenting by reading Sylvia Plath.

Here's where you think: "what? the mother who stuck her head in the oven?"

But she didn't kill her chlidren and that's more or less a Matronly goal, too.

The Matron's spirit is always buoyed and sustained by Plath because of language -- words, beautiful staggering sorrowful, words. Nobody can sling 'em like Sylvia.

Here's one of her favorite poems b Sylvia Plath. Nearly every line gives her chills.

Morning Song

Love set you going like a fat gold watch.
The midwife slapped your footsoles, and your bald cry
Took its place among the elements.

Our voices echo, magnifying your arrival. New statue,
In a drafty museum, your nakedness
Shadows our safety. We stand round blankly as walls.

I'm no more your mother
Than the cloud that distills a mirror to reflect its own slow
Effacement at the wind's hand.

All night long your moth-breath
Flickers among the flat pink roses. I wake to listen:
A far sea moves in my ears.

One cry, and I stumble from bed, cow-heavy and floral
In my Victorian nightgown.
Your mouth opens clean as a cat's. The window square

Whitens and swallows its dull stars. And now you try
Your handful of notes;
The clear vowels rise like balloons.


8 comments:

Amy said...

Thank you!!!! I'm a certified Plath geek, and I've long argued that if you look at her "parenting" poems, you see an entirely different side of her. Have you read her radio play, Three Women? It's fantastic. I'd love to hear it performed someday.

MJ said...

I'm not familiar with Ms Plath ~ I took English 110 in university and had to concentrate on my dual major studies instead! One day I'll get to explore the classics!

Glad to read you survived your (mild) wilderness experience!

Minnesota Matron said...

Amy -- Thanks for much for the recommendation. I haven't read the play. Now I will! I'm taking a playwriting class in July (this week) so the timing is right, too.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Lake Elmo to me :). I was there too....

Dana said...

I'm a born and raised Wisconsinite, and I still live in the "wild" state ;)! Sounds like you had a great time. Where did you stay?

Minnesota Matron said...

That indeed IS Lake Elmo. And we were in Siren - the wild town of Siren!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I love (and share) the Matronly goal.

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