I think how Sylvia stuck her head in to an oven, turned
on the gas, and my feelings overcome me. You see, I know,
as her official biographer that bitchiness of a new depth
was not her style.
She was not trying to hurt her children or her husband, she
was not mendacious. She saw life through a prism of
loneliness and she knew with certainty on that fateful, dark
night in that meagre, damp cottage kitchen, that she had
married the wrong man.
I imagine her, limp with failure and cold beyond endurance,
like a man lost in an arctic forever winter night, longing
for warmth. And to be free again, flirty, cheeky with
delight and writing with abandon and fluency.
Oh, how I long for her to be with me in this room. But as I
finger this bruise on the side of my forehead, I fear for my
safety. Churchill had his black dog of depression as I have
my violet goat of anxiety. It climbs trees with me and teeters
along my paths and precipices.
Will I be hounded by all the Plath Dons, Freda and Ted, and
her far flung family? Will they hate my thesis, my revelations,
the stoppered genies escaping from the bottles of intrigue and
But like Ariel, Sylvia will be set free in to the atmosphere,
fetid or fresh air, clean or dirty air, my truths, so hard won,
will be out into the rarified atmosphere of academia.
the copyright of this post belongs to Valerie Rule