Posted in poem of the week, Uncategorized

Poem of the Week: “Two Views of a Cadaver Room” by Sylvia Plath

“Two Views of a Cadaver Room”
by Sylvia Plath

(1)
The day she visited the dissecting room
They had four men laid out, black as burnt turkey,
Already half unstrung. A vinegary fume
Of the death vats clung to them;
The white-smocked boys started working.
The head of his cadaver had caved in,
And she could scarcely make out anything In that rubble of skull plates and old leather.
A sallow piece of string held it together. In their jars the snail-nosed babies moon and glow.
He hands her the cut-out heart like a cracked heirloom.
(2)
In Brueghel’s panorama of smoke and slaughter
Two people only are blind to the carrion army:
He, afloat in the sea of her blue satin
Skirts, sings in the direction Of her bare shoulder, while she bends,
Finger a leaflet of music, over him, Both of them deaf to the fiddle in the hands
Of the death’s-head shadowing their song.
These Flemish lovers flourish; not for long.
Yet desolation, stalled in paint, spares the little country
Foolish, delicate, in the lower right hand corner.

 

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The Center for Poetry opened in the fall of 2007 to encourage the reading, writing, and discussion of poetry and to create an awareness of the place and power of poetry in our everyday lives. We think about this in a number of ways, including through readings, shows, community outreach, and workshops. We are at work building a poetry community at MSU and in the greater Lansing area. Contact: cpoetry@msu.edu (517) 884-1932 http://www.poetry.rcah.msu.edu

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