She looks out her window and sees a moon, a church, and a black yew tree. They are beautiful images, but in her perception they do not invoke hope or curiosity or offer answers to her torments. Instead, the images become harbingers of death and doom….‘There is a panther stalks me down: / One day I’ll have my death of him;’ …..‘Most soft, most suavely glides that step,’; ‘sweet the singeing fury of his fur;’; ‘The black marauder, hauled by love / On fluent haunches, keeps my speed.’ ; ‘I run flaring in my skin;’; ‘Coming up and up the stairs.’…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. ( Sylvia Plath. Pursuit)
—There is a story here – of the mother who truly DOESN’T love her daughter. She doesn’t. Otherwise – she would love her for who she actually IS, not who she wants her to be. Aurelia Plath never got that. Sylvia, at the end of her life, was starting to come to terms with that. She writes, quite blatantly, in her journal, “I can never live near my mother again.” And her mother comes to visit in Oct. 1962 – right after Ted has moved out – to be with Assia Wevill – the woman he was having an affair with – and Sylvia was absolutely tormented by having her mother see her in such a weak moment. To her, it was unforgivable. She wrote her poem “Medusa” about that experience – which is, you know, shocking in its hatred, and anger. But again: poets who live by society’s rules and play well with others are usually not poets to be reckoned with. Sylvia coming to terms with her rage was part of her finding her voice.—Read More:http://www.sheilaomalley.com/archives/2006_10.html
The moon and the yew tree
This is the light of the mind, cold and planetary
The trees of the mind are black. The light is blue.
The grasses unload their griefs on my feet as if I were God
Prickling my ankles and murmuring of their humility
Fumy, spiritous mists inhabit this place.
Separated from my house by a row of headstones.
I simply cannot see where there is to get to.
The moon is no door. It is a face in its own right,
White as a knuckle and terribly upset.
It drags the sea after it like a dark crime; it is quiet
With the O-gape of complete despair. I live here.
Twice on Sunday, the bells startle the sky —-
Eight great tongues affirming the Resurrection
At the end, they soberly bong out their names.
The yew tree points up, it has a Gothic shape.
The eyes lift after it and find the moon.
The moon is my mother. She is not sweet like Mary.
Her blue garments unloose small bats and owls.
How I would like to believe in tenderness —-
The face of the effigy, gentled by candles,
Bending, on me in particular, its mild eyes.
I have fallen a long way. Clouds are flowering
Blue and mystical over the face of the stars
Inside the church, the saints will all be blue,
Floating on their delicate feet over the cold pews,
Their hands and faces stiff with holiness.
The moon sees nothing of this. She is bald and wild.
And the message of the yew tree is blackness — blackness and silence