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  • Writer's pictureNazifa Islam

Sylvia Plath Found Poem in the Mississippi Review

I'm very excited to share that I have a Sylvia Plath found poem in the new issue of the Mississippi Review! "I Long for a Poem" was written using a paragraph from The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath. The new issue is fantasticyou should check it outand here is that paragraph with the words I selected in red:


August 2.8: Thursday: A chill clear morning. Yesterday's anger has clearer, finer edges now: I could have said more than I did better than I did, but in four days we will be off & all here will lose its emotional tension & become a flat memory only, to be ordered, embellished by the chameleon mind. Dreamed last night I was beginning my novel- "What is there to look to?" Dody Ventura said - a beginning conversation - then, a sentence, a paragraph, inserted first of all of description to 'place', to 'set' the scene: a girl's search for her dead father - for an outside authority which must be developed, instead, from the inside. Midnight: still tired, but curiously elated, as if absolved from suffocation - projects bubble: Boston & our flat seems as fine, finer than Widow Mangada's Mediterranean hideout or our Paris Left Bank room. Suddenly I like people, can be nice, natural. We lolled over supper: cold chicken, summer squash, cabbage - sat in the twilit rose garden - a cricket chirred from the ivy on the stone wall, stone flagstones between which grass grew long, roses of pink and yellow, color gone in the grey blueing twilight to a faintly luminous pallor, the fountain plinking, five arcs on the summer house temple, the stone lionhead set in the wall, a ferocious grimace set in stone. I think I am growing more casual - am I? Or is this a lull in a merry go round of panic blackouts, to take all for what it is & delight in the small pleasures - a good dog poem by Ted: a green afternoon with Esther Baskin & Tobias under the trees, apples fallen, rotting on the ground, reading her essay of the bat, Ted's proof of the pike poem - Tobias blond, pink, cherubic, smiling, crowing, crawling, taking the papers from my purse & scattering them about - an atmosphere of books, poems, wood engravings, statues. Tea & cookies at the Clarkes - they opening up, mimicking Mary's father - Mr. Godfrey, the old drunken lawyer in the condemned house nextdoor, the boys who threw his mother's picture out of the window, his pillows & all his law books - no heat, no water he had.


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