The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Monday, Potted Potter, Rainy DC

By Sylvia Plath

Dans le fond des forêts votre image me suit.
                                                                                                -- Racine

There is a panther stalks me down:
  One day I'll have my death of him;
  His greed has set the woods aflame,
He prowls more lordly than the sun.
Most soft, most suavely glides that step,
  Advancing always at my back;
  From gaunt hemlock, rooks croak havoc:
The hunt is on, and sprung the trap.
Flayed by thorns I trek the rocks,
  Haggard through the hot white noon.
  Along red network of his veins
What fires run, what craving wakes?

Insatiate, he ransacks the land
  Condemned by our ancestral fault,
  Crying: blood, let blood be spilt;
Meat must glut his mouth's raw wound.
Keen the rending teeth and sweet
  The singeing fury of his fur;
  His kisses parch, each paw's a briar,
Doom consummates that appetite.
In the wake of this fierce cat,
  Kindled like torches for his joy,
  Charred and ravened women lie,
Become his starving body's bait.

Now hills hatch menace, spawning shade;
  Midnight cloaks the sultry grove;
  The black marauder, hauled by love
On fluent haunches, keeps my speed.
Behind snarled thickets of my eyes
  Lurks the lithe one; in dreams' ambush
  Bright those claws that mar the flesh
And hungry, hungry, those taut thighs.
His ardor snares me, lights the trees,
  And I run flaring in my skin;
  What lull, what cool can lap me in
When burns and brands that yellow gaze?

I hurl my heart to halt his pace,
  To quench his thirst I squander blood;
  He eats, and still his need seeks food,
Compels a total sacrifice.
His voice waylays me, spells a trance,
  The gutted forest falls to ash;
  Appalled by secret want, I rush
From such assault of radiance.
Entering the tower of my fears,
  I shut my doors on that dark guilt,
  I bolt the door, each door I bolt.
Blood quickens, gonging in my ears:

The panther's tread is on the stairs,
Coming up and up the stairs.


Despite some less than ideal weather, I spent a fine Sunday downtown with Paul and Cheryl, with whom I had tickets to see Potted Potter at the Shakespeare Theatre Company's Sidney Harman Hall. First, we went and walked around what was left of the cherry blossoms -- at this point the trees are more green than pink and white, though they're still pretty, especially on a rainy day -- and took what was supposed to be our picnic to the mostly-deserted food court at L'Enfant Plaza. On the way to the theater, we stopped at the National Portrait Gallery to see the new Obama portraits and the Sylvia Plath exhibit. The play itself is hilarious in the manner of an extended Renfaire skit (if you've seen Shakespeare's Skum do Henry V, it's that sort of interpretation) and includes audience participation Quidditch and a climactic duel set to disco.

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It was a Pokemon Community Day, so I caught shiny Mareep on the way to the car, then we came back to the house and ordered pizza which we ate while watching X-Men extras. Eventually Cheryl had to go home, while Maddy was in the midst of a big cleanup of her room so we all got organized for garbage pickup on Monday. Then we watched Timeless and Last Week Tonight (on which John Oliver revealed that he bought a bunch of Russell Crowe's props at Russell's divorce auction to try to help the last Blockbuster in Alaska, including the leather jock strap from Cinderella Man and Javert's vest from Les Miserables though not Jack Aubrey's violin). And Adam survived his kayaking expedition, though his inflatable kayak did not!

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