01 August 2012

Making Sentences from Sylvia Plath Poem Titles

Trying to have a little fun this summer, below are attempts to construct sentences out of the poem titles in Sylvia Plath's Ariel (both the 1965/1966 Ted Hughes version and those from her original order, first published in 2004). I have endeavored to not employ additional words (to, at, the, are, etc.) to connect things up; however, in some instances I found it beneficial to do so... And in some cases I brought in titles from other 1962 poems.

Getting there by candlelight, the applicant Gulliver cut the fearful eavesdropper for a fatherless son.

The arrival of the bee box, a secret event (a birthday present), stopped dead the detective burning the letters.

Medusa stings Daddy; the other magi- the jailor - on the tour wintering among the narcissi: Berck-Plage, Lyonnesse, Ariel, Lesbos, has the courage of shutting-up the elm and death & co.

The Munich mannequins totem: a paralytic thalidomide child, sheep in fog, pheasant, balloons, the swarm, the moon and the yew tree.

Crossing the water years after an appearance at the bee meeting, the rabbit catchers amnesiac apprehensions are words heard, by accident, over the phone.

The couriers words, a letter in november, edge the rival barren woman - in a purdah of tulips and poppies in july, poppies in october - and the hanging man into the night dances.

Mary's song, the little fugue, is a contusion to Lady Lazarus.

You're Nick and the candlestick's morning song.


Anonymous said...

Oh wow lol great! Im sure Sylvia would have been proud of you and happy for this! ;-) have a nice day
greetings from Florence, Italy

BridgetAnna said...

Very clever, Peter! You got me thinking up other title-sentences in my head, thanks for that! The word (from the title) "Cut" is a good verb which can be used in a lot of the sentences between the various poem titles. i.e. "Daddy cut Medusa" and vice-versa. And other similar set-ups with "Cut" that can make some sense in relation to Plath's life. "Lady Lazarus Cut Daddy" etc etc.
I didn't see "The Babysitters" anywhere in your sentences, though... tsk tsk :-) (such an over-looked poem, in my opinion).

Julia Gordon-Bramer said...

A little too much time on your hands? ;-)

Nah... I love word games too. Might be fun to do anagrams next. Plath had a "crazy eye for anagrams," you know!

Carl Rollyson said...

How about Sylvia Plath typos: Sylvia Path, Salvia Plath, and of course Ted Huge. It gets complicted now with autocorrect programs where you type an unusual word and the program changes it to the more conventional or customary word. Something for poets to think about. There is probably some autocorrect program that will change Olwyn Hughes into Gorgon Hughes.

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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.