RG (June 1,1965 / Cheltenham, U.K.)

Sylvia Plath's Cats

Their breath was clean, or harsh and sour
according to her moods:
and when they sensed a coming storm
they crept into corners.
Today she is a remote eminence,
tall and cold as Alaska:
but the cats understood her
as something young and brittle
like bamboo
that cuts you when it breaks.
When she died, apart from them
they felt her passing over
as a seismic change of frequency:
they never quite forgot her
and when something reminded them
they purred, nervously.

No one writes their biography.

User Rating: 4,1 / 5 ( 5 votes ) 4

Comments (4)

This tugs at my heartstrings. When you lose someone, you often forget the cats in the corner who suffer a loss. This is really a good poem. I am not crazy about the line comparing Plath to Alaska...not thinking it falls into the whole metaphor, but the sadness and irony of only the cats knowing her seismic energy is masterful. Thanks. Raynette
Me, too. I keep coming back to re-read it. There is something very ethereal about this poem.
I love this poem! It is so different. I never would have thought of such an idea... I'm jealous.
I like 'purred nervously' - yep, conveys her instability. Methinks another ten.