Write LIKE PLATH

by Amy Turn Sharp


At least on a typewriter. Sylvia Path used one. They all did fifty calendars back. Two weeks ago I wrote poems for a charity at the TEDx event here in Columbus on a old school typewriter and fell promptly in love with the machine. I was a child the last time I can remember using a typewriter. But it felt so right. The deliberate push and the strong noises, jerked me into some sort of Pavlovian love affair. I wrote lusty. I wrote strong. And in the days that have passed, three people have contacted me and thanked me for my poem. Strangers. This has made me right with the world again.

So, I thought about Plath and her frenzy. She wrote in bursts of brilliance in between the landmines you know. Yes, she was privileged and she got to have sex with Ted Hughes, but she was also tortured and had to be married to Ted Hughes. 

I love best that she said, "to be true to my own weirdnesses" when she talked about being surrounded by other artists at a retreat colony towards the end of her life. It resonates with me like bell towers. Like Jars of bells.  She's not for everyone this poet. She lives in my head in a room marked "scary things." Ears being cut off. Gunshots. Head in the oven. She lives in the crazy room but I love her so. Her words have lined up in arrow formations. Her words have been known to jump from the page and choke me.

So I thought I would sit all week at this typewriter that I have held hostage from the friend who let me borrow it for the event. I can't give it back yet. It sits like possibility on the table and calls to me like a silly lover. I thought I would sit at the typewriter and push things out like Plath. I will find my frenzy. 

 

Last week worked btw. index cards. FTW. 

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