At one time "The Devil of the Stairs" was Sylvia
Plath's intended title for what eventually became her published collection of
poems "Colossus". I've never been able to ascertain the reason she chose to change titles.
The Devil of the Stairs
There was much in her madness to draw us in.
Poetry was payback, electroshock for readers,
collusion between self and the culture oppressing women.
Rebelling against the limitations of a woman's sphere,
seeking refuge in career, a feminist before it was chic,
writing poems as a poultice against death
lurking in the shadows of a conflicted mind.
Sylvia, what was the dialogue you had with Death?
He deceived you in the mirror,
made you tremble at the foot of the stairs,
hissed from the potatoes in the kitchen,
till you sought solace in the oven's jets.
You were an artist out of time.
It's safe to come in from the depression now.
Poetry by Brian Oarr
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Written on 2012-06-17 at 14:14
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