Thursday, January 8, 2009



Nobody in the lane, and nothing,
nothing but blackberries,
Blackberries on either side,
though on the right mainly,
A blackberry alley, going down in hooks,
and a sea
Somewhere at the end of it, heaving.

Big as the ball of my thumb,
and dumb as eyes
Ebon in the hedges, fat
With blue-red juices.
These they squander on my fingers.
I had not asked for such a blood sisterhood;
they must love me.
They accommodate themselves to my milkbottle,
flattening their sides.

Overhead go the choughs in black,
cacophonous flocks ---
Bits of burnt paper wheeling in a blown sky.
Theirs is the only voice, protesting, protesting.
I do not think the sea will appear at all.
The high, green meadows are glowing,
as if lit from within.
I come to one bush of berries so ripe
it is a bush of flies,
Hanging their bluegreen bellies
and their wing panes in a Chinese screen.
The honey-feast of the berries has stunned them;
they believe in heaven.
One more hook, and the berries and bushes end.

The only thing to come now is the sea.
From between two hills
a sudden wind funnels at me,
Slapping its phantom laundry in my face.
These hills are too green and sweet to have tasted salt.
I follow the sheep path between them.
A last hook brings me
To the hills' northern face,
and the face is orange rock
That looks out on nothing,
nothing but a great space
Of white and pewter lights,
and a din like silversmiths
Beating and beating at an intractable metal.

Sylvia Plath

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