[ # 75 of My Favourite Short Poems ]
‘I took a deep breath
and listened to the old brag of my heart:
Today’s offering is not, strictly speaking a poem. It is a very short, one sentence, quotation from the ‘The Bell Jar’, (written under the pseudonym, ‘Victoria Lucas’), the only novel ever written by the American poet, Sylvia Plath, who committed suicide, aged 30, shortly after its publication in 1963.
I am using it today as its introspection does mirror that of John Clare, whose ‘I Am’ verses I featured a week ago. Both Clare and Plath were troubled beings, suffering for long periods of their lives from severe mood swings and depression.
In this one sentence from her novel, Sylvia Plath, cries out with similar force to that which John Clare was expressing in his poem, for the self-belief and recognition which both felt had eluded them . . . ‘I AM! yet what I am who cares, or knows?’