Now that I'm awake, sort of, I am imagining that I might go snowshoeing today, or build a snow beast, or maybe just lob snowballs at the cat, who loves a fake skirmish. The weather is warming, the sky streaked with sun and clouds. I will read my newest Margaret Atwood find (Lady Oracle) and play the Plath cassette (presuming that one of our cassette players still works).
Writing of the BBC recordings, Plath's daughter, Frieda Hughes, said:
In December 1962, my mother was asked by BBC radio to read some of her poems for a broadcast, and for this she wrote her own introductions. Her commentaries were dry and brief and she makes no mention of herself as a character in the poems. She might expose herself, but she did not need to point it out. I particularly like . . . "In this next poem, the speaker's horse is proceeding at a slow, cold walk down a hill of macadam to the stable at the bottom. It is December. It is foggy. In the fog there are sheep." . . . These introductions make me smile; they have to be the most understated commentaries for poems that are pared down to their sharpest points of imagery and delivered with tremendous skill.For some reason I feel inordinately pleased to have these broadcasts on cassette tape. I'm sure they're available all over the Internet, but this way seems better, though I don't exactly know why. I don't even know for sure I'll be able to hear them. But still: I have the plastic rectangle, with Sylvia's voice right there, on the magnetic tape. I can even see the magnetic tape through the little round portholes. Holding the tape feels like holding a ghost in a bottle.