October 27, 1962, she writes about “Ariel.”
An airy spirit from Shakespeare’s The Tempest
and the horse she would sometimes ride.
All captured, trapped, until “Then to the
elements, be free, and fare thou well.’
Prospero commanding Ariel by John White Abbott (1763–1851)
The following February after writing the poem – on February 11, 1963 – Sylvia would commit suicide. The poem was published after her death.
You can read Plath’s poems at poetryfoundation.org and see her original handwritten copy and learn more about the poem at uk/20th-century-literature
At the garden edges, the volunteer seedlings
grow on their own despite my human
weeding deliberations at order, symmetry and control.
Thankfully not reliably identical to their parents.
Volunteers try modestly to change the world.
Lychnis coronaria Rose Campion
Drawn to falls like lovers and suicides,
staring at the deep beauty and power,
being pulled in, carried to the edge –
a leap, flight, immersion, freedom from self,
becoming a part of the falls itself.
Atlantic wanderer, traveling Florida to New York.
Identified by its freeze-branded “56” dorsal fin.
Visiting boaters for twenty years, a loner,
old, at 45, unseen for several years.
His freedom lures us into the water.
The very social Dolphin 56 has a Facebook fan page.