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  • Writer's pictureNazifa Islam

Sylvia Plath Found Poem in The Indianapolis Review

So thrilled to be published in the latest issue of The Indianapolis Review! Read my Sylvia Plath found poem "I Have a Vision for My Poems" online! This is a poem about writing because many of Sylvia Plath's journal entries were about writing, which probably isn't a surprise to anyone.

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

Jealous one I am, green-eyed, spite-seething. Read the six women poets in the "new poets of england and america." Dull, turgid. Except for May Swenson & Adrienne Rich, not one better or more-published than me. I have the quiet righteous malice of one with better poems than other women's reputations have been made by. Wait till June. June? I shall fall rust-tongued long before then. Somehow, to write poems, I need all my time forever ahead of me - no meals to get, no books to prepare. I plot, calculate: twenty poems now my nucleus. Thirty more in a bigger, freer, tougher voice: work on rhythms mostly, for freedom, yet sung, delectability of speaking as in succulent chicken. No coyness, archaic cutie tricks. Break on them in a year with a book of forty or fifty - a poem every ten days. Prose sustains me. I can mess it, mush it, rewrite it, pick it up any times - rhythms are slacker, more variable, it doesn't die so soon. So I will try reworking summer stuff: The Falcon Yard chapter. Yet it is a novel chapter somehow: slack, uncritical, too many characters in it. Must make some conflict. I am at least making more minor characters come alive: Mrs. Guinea, Miss Minchell, Hamish. Must avoid the exotico-romantico-glory-glory slop. Get in gem-bright details. What is my voice? Woolfish, alas, but tough. Please, tough, without any moral other than that growth is good. Faith too is good. I am too a puritan at heart. I see the back of the black head of a stranger dark against the light of the livingroom, band of white collar, black sweater, black trousers & shoes. He sighs, reads out of my vision, a floorboard creaks under his foot. This one I have chosen & am forever wedded to him.

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