01 April 2008

Sylvia Plath 100 calorie pack & a song

Some might say that too much Sylvia Plath is unhealthy. Do you spend too much time searching the Internet, reading and re-reading articles, books, and blogs, examining book covers, compiling bibliographies, etc. of things relating to or about Sylvia Plath? Wait, I think I'm describing myself here...anyway....

To help combat this apparent addiction, I've volunteered to test out a revolutionary diet: the Reduced Addiction Plath Intake Diet (RAPID). My wife hired scientists from Wookey Hole (England), Balzers (Liechtenstein), and Sneem (Ireland) to develop RAPID in an attempt to suppress my alleged over-indulgence of all things Sylvia Plath. (I don't have a problem, do I?) Will it work? Probably not, though my wife remains hopeful!

The first test will be to see if I can still function in, what for me is, a normal fashion on a daily basis if I "consume" smaller Plathian portions.

Following the craze that is currently sweeping an ever more dietary conscious populous in the USA, we introduce today the creation of the Sylvia Plath 100 calorie pack.*

Here's a breakdown of this remarkable new dietary-literary system works:

Scientists have calculated the caloric composition of Plath's compositions. They have determined that, for example, Plath's poem "Daddy" contains a whopping 500 calories (the equivalent of a White Chocolate Mocha with whip at Starbucks); of which there are are 7 calories from fat. If you try to maintain an intake of 2000 calories per day, this is 1/4 or your daily allowance.Doesn't leave much room for those yummy potato chips and a Guinness.

"Daddy" is 16 stanzas long. There are five lines per stanza. This means that there are approximately 31.25 calories per stanza; or, 6.25 calories per line.

The solution is simple!! Inside your Sylvia Plath 100 calorie pack, you'll find only the first 3.2 stanzas; or, the first 16 lines.

"You do not do, you do not do
Any more, black shoe
In which I have lived like a foot
For thirty years, poor and white,
Barely daring to breathe or Achoo.

Daddy, I have had to kill you.
You died before I had time---
Marble-heavy, a bag full of God,
Ghastly statue with one gray toe
Big as a Frisco seal

And a head in the freakish Atlantic
Where it pours bean green over blue
In the waters off the beautiful Nauset.
I used to pray to recover you.
Ach, du.

In the German tongue, in the Polish town"

Hardly fulfilling, but you may just feel much better in the long run. This being said, a sudden reduction of your daily Plath intake is not without its dangers. Common
side-effects, which might indicate Plath withdrawal, include: headache, nausea, nose bleeds, memory loss, discoloration of the fingers and toes, and dizziness. In rare cases, one may experience textual frustration, because, really, who wants to read just the first 3.2 stanzas of "Daddy"? In rarer cases, patients complain about the inability to perform, from memory and without assistance, textually. If this happens to you, or you get stuck on the same poem for more than four hours, please cease RAPID and contact your physician immediately.


The following are the lyrics to a rare song by a college band, Push-ups In the Sand. The song goes to same music as Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?"

Have You Ever Seen a Man?

Esther's come to town again.
Washed my briefs so that there clean.
I want
To show her my anatomy.

Gonna sit her down today
Show her things and bits and stuff.
This will
Be a momentous weekend.

I wanna know
Have you ever seen a man?
I wanna know
Have you ever seen a man?
Not just statues in museums.

Don't you want to see me, girl?
In the future, we'll be fine
I know
I'd like to see you this way too!

Poems are pieces of dust.
Like cadavers you can trust
That I
I know what I am doing.

I wanna know
Have you ever seen a man?
I wanna know
Have you ever seen a man?

I wanna know
Have you ever seen a man?
I wanna know
Have you ever seen a man?
Not just statues in museums.

*Please note that no such calorie pack actually exists.


Kristina Zimbakova said...

Wow! sylvia Plath 100 calorie pack :-) :-). That's incredibly creative, anyway.

Melanie Smith said...

That really made me laugh!

Anonymous said...

Oh, but it should, it should! I now use that photo as my desktop background! Kim :-)

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Publications & Acknowledgements

  • BBC Four.A Poet's Guide to Britain: Sylvia Plath. London: BBC Four, 2009. (Acknowledged in)
  • Biography: Sylvia Plath. New York: A & E Television Networks, 2005. (Photographs used)
  • Connell, Elaine. Sylvia Plath: Killing the angel in the house. 2d ed. Hebden Bridge: Pennine Pens, 1998. (Acknowledged in)
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives 3." Plath Profiles 4. Summer 2011: 119-138.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives 4: Looking for New England." Plath Profiles 5. Summer 2012: 11-56.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives 5: Reanimating the Past." Plath Profiles 6. Summer 2013: 27-62.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives, Redux." Plath Profiles 3. Summer 2010: 232-246.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives." Plath Profiles 2. Summer 2009: 183-208.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. These Ghostly Archives: The Unearthing of Sylvia Plath. Oxford: Fonthill, 2017.
  • Death Be Not Proud: The Graves of Poets. New York: Poets.org. (Photographs used)
  • Doel, Irralie, Lena Friesen and Peter K. Steinberg. "An Unacknowledged Publication by Sylvia Plath." Notes & Queries 56:3. September 2009: 428-430.
  • Elements of Literature, Third Course. Austin, Tex. : Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2009. (Photograph used)
  • Gill, Jo. "Sylvia Plath in the South West." University of Exeter Centre for South West Writing, 2008. (Photograph used)
  • Helle, Anita Plath. The Unraveling Archive: Essays on Sylvia Plath. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2007. (Photographs used, acknowledged in)
  • Helle, Anita. "Lessons from the Archive: Sylvia Plath and the Politics of Memory". Feminist Studies 31:3. Fall 2005: 631-652.. (Acknowledged in)
  • Holden, Constance. "Sad Poets' Society." Science Magazine. 27 July 2008. (Photograph used)
  • Making Trouble: Three Generations of Funny Jewish Women, Motion Picture. Directed by Rachel Talbot. Brookline (Mass.): Jewish Women's Archive, 2007. (Photograph used)
  • Plath, Sylvia, and Karen V. Kukil. The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, 1950-1962. New York: Anchor Books, 2000. (Acknowledged in)
  • Plath, Sylvia, and Peter K. Steinberg and Karen V. Kukil (eds.). The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Volume 1, 1940-1956. London: Faber, 2017. Forthcoming.
  • Plath, Sylvia. Glassklokken. Oslo: De norske Bokklubbene, 2004. (Photograph used on cover)
  • Reiff, Raychel Haugrud. Sylvia Plath: The Bell Jar and Poems (Writers and Their Works). Marshall Cavendish Children's Books, 2008.. (Images provided)
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "'A Fetish: Somehow': A Sylvia Plath Bookmark." Court Green 13. 2017.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "'I Should Be Loving This': Sylvia Plath's 'The Perfect Place' and The Bell Jar." Plath Profiles 1. Summer 2008: 253-262.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "'They Had to Call and Call': The Search for Sylvia Plath." Plath Profiles 3. Summer 2010: 106-132.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "A Perfectly Beautiful Time: Sylvia Plath at Camp Helen Storrow." Plath Profiles 4. Summer 2011: 149-166.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Proof of Plath." Fine Books & Collections 9:2. Spring 2011: 11-12.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Sylvia Plath." The Spoken Word: Sylvia Plath. London: British Library, 2010.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Textual Variations in The Bell Jar Publications." Plath Profiles 5. Summer 2012.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "The Persistence of Plath." Fine Books & Collections. Autumn 2017: 24-29
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "This is a Celebration: A Festschrift for The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath." Plath Profiles 3 Supplement. Fall 2010: 3-14.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Writing Life" [Introduction]. Sylvia Plath in Devon: A Year's Turning. Stroud, Eng.: Fonthill Media, 2014.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. Sylvia Plath (Great Writers). Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 2004.