Lady Lazarus

By Sylvia Plath

I have done it again.   
One year in every ten   
I manage it——
 
A sort of walking miracle, my skin   
Bright as a Nazi lampshade,   
My right foot
 
A paperweight,
My face a featureless, fine   
Jew linen.
 
Peel off the napkin   
O my enemy.   
Do I terrify?——
 
The nose, the eye pits, the full set of teeth?   
The sour breath
Will vanish in a day.
 
Soon, soon the flesh
The grave cave ate will be   
At home on me
 
And I a smiling woman.   
I am only thirty.
And like the cat I have nine times to die.
 
This is Number Three.   
What a trash
To annihilate each decade.
 
What a million filaments.   
The peanut-crunching crowd   
Shoves in to see
 
Them unwrap me hand and foot——
The big strip tease.   
Gentlemen, ladies
 
These are my hands   
My knees.
I may be skin and bone,
 
Nevertheless, I am the same, identical woman.   
The first time it happened I was ten.   
It was an accident.
 
The second time I meant
To last it out and not come back at all.   
I rocked shut
 
As a seashell.
They had to call and call
And pick the worms off me like sticky pearls.
 
Dying
Is an art, like everything else.   
I do it exceptionally well.
 
I do it so it feels like hell.   
I do it so it feels real.
I guess you could say I’ve a call.
 
It’s easy enough to do it in a cell.
It’s easy enough to do it and stay put.   
It’s the theatrical
 
Comeback in broad day
To the same place, the same face, the same brute   
Amused shout:
 
‘A miracle!’
That knocks me out.   
There is a charge
 
For the eyeing of my scars, there is a charge   
For the hearing of my heart——
It really goes.
 
And there is a charge, a very large charge   
For a word or a touch   
Or a bit of blood
 
Or a piece of my hair or my clothes.   
So, so, Herr Doktor.   
So, Herr Enemy.
 
I am your opus,
I am your valuable,   
The pure gold baby
 
That melts to a shriek.   
I turn and burn.
Do not think I underestimate your great concern.
 
Ash, ash—
You poke and stir.
Flesh, bone, there is nothing there——
 
A cake of soap,   
A wedding ring,   
A gold filling.
 
Herr God, Herr Lucifer   
Beware
Beware.
 
Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair   
And I eat men like air.
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp
Share on telegram
Share on email
Grace Storm - How To Be A Door x
Grace Storm - How To Be A Door

About Us

Pick Me Up Poetry seeks to be an agent of change in society by fostering cross-cultural dialogue and providing much-needed information and representation for writers and performers. We offer our followers insightful glimpses into cultures around the globe through various mediums including our online articles, poetry collections, spoken-word videos and more. 

The Poetry Network
🌍 Public group ~ 5.3K members
Open Group
The Poetry Network
🌍 Public group ~ 5.3K members
Open Group
LEVEL UP!
Drop your email and we'll send you 25 poetry editing guidelines to help transform your creative writing!
Send It!
LEVEL UP!
Drop your email and we'll send you 25 poetry editing guidelines to help transform your creative writing!
Send It!
Join Our Family & Subscribe To Our Newsletter
Privacy Policy: This information will never be shared with third parties.
Subscribe Now!
Join Our Family & Subscribe To Our Newsletter
Privacy Policy: This information will never be shared with third parties.
Subscribe Now!