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  • Writer's pictureNazifa Islam

Sylvia Plath Found Poem in Poem-a-Day

"Stability Is a Feeling," a Sylvia Plath found poem, is up at Poem-a-Day today! I'm so incredibly thankful to John Lee Clark for including me among this month's poets. You can read the poem, listen to it, and learn a little about it and my Sylvia Plath found poetry project by checking your inbox if you're a subscriber or by visiting the website!

Here is the paragraph I used from The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath to write the poem with the words I selected in red:

August 2: Saturday: I have a strong feeling of sickness, of which I am heartily sick. A life of doing nothing is death. Our life is ridiculously ingrown, sedentary. Ted has fanatic ideas - he wants to get thin & eats jam, sugar, sweet things in great amounts, simply walks, won't hear of any plausible or implausible exercise - Later: Sunday morning: it is as if I needed crises of some sort to exercise my fiber. I find all cool, clear & possible this morning. The great fault of America - this part of it - is its air of pressure: expectancy of conformity. It is hard for me to realize that Dot & Frank probably don't like Ted simply because he "won't get a job, a steady career." I have actually married exactly the sort of man I most admire. I will shut up about the future for a year & face work & encourage Ted's work in which I have the greatest of faith. I find myself horrified at voicing the American dream of a home & children - my visions of a home, of course, being an artist's estate, in a perfect privacy of wilderness acres, on the coast of Maine. I will no doubt be an impractical vagabond wife & mother, a manner of exile. I must work for an inner serenity & stability which will bear me through the roughest of weathers externally: A calm, sustaining, optimistic philosophy which does not depend on a lifelong street address within easy driving distance of an American supermarket. And what fun to see England with Ted, to live in Italy, the South of France. If I can work this year like mad & get one worn-an's story published, a book of poems finished, I will be pleased: also, review & read German & French. Ironically, I have my own dream, which is mine, & not the American dream. I want to write funny & tender women's storys. I must be also, funny & tender & not a desperate woman, like mother. Security is inside me & in Ted's warmth. The smell & feel of him is worth a private fortune a year & how lucky I am - there are no rules for this kind of wifeliness - I must make them up as I go along & will do so.

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