top of page

29 Sept 2023



Full Moon


Oct 14th


Sep 15th

An erasure of

Sylvia Plath’s Tulips

It is winter here             quiet

     I am myself           nobody

nothing         I have given up

my history        my head shut

everything in       impossible

body    smoothing numbness

     I have lost myself       sick

of smiling                  hanging

swabbed         loving scared

    I have never been     pure

lie             empty             free

ask nothing      dead mouths

   lips are too red   they hurt

me        their redness       my

wound         sudden tongues

 round my neck         I watch  

     lips turn to me       slowly

widen          shadow the sun

     I have no face           vivid    

     lips                  eat the air

breath filled        like a river

sunken walls            warming 

     lips           like dangerous

animals  opening the mouth

of my heart       red bloom

     I taste the sea                   

Behind the poem...

It was during a pandemic summer that I first read Sylvia Plath's poem Tulips. So many words leapt out at me; it felt like there was another poem beneath Plath's, gasping for breath. Plath uses red tulips in contrast to the starkness of white hospital walls. What emerges from my sparser erasure is a more abstract rendering of illness and otherness: lips are red with blood, not love – this difference highlighting the rawness of Plath’s imagery.

bottom of page