Welcome to the dVerse Poets Pub for Tuesday Poetics. I’m Kim of Writing in North Norfolk and I’m your bartender for today.
It would have been Sylvia Plath’s 87th birthday on 27th October. Because so much has been written about her, her marriage to Ted Hughes and her tragic suicide, and a film about her was released in 2003, we think we know all about them, individually and as a couple, but I’m sure there’s a lot that we will never know.
You’ll notice some similarities; for example, they have single word titles, have been written in tercets, and are about things that grow and invade, both poems making use of personification.
There are also differences: Plath’s lines are very short, with nearly every line consisting of five syllables, while Hughes’s are longer and of varying lengths; Plath has used the first person plural, whereas Hughes has written in the third person; Plath’s poem is arguably feminine in tone and has political overtones, while ‘Thistles’ is masculine – Hughes refers to them as men and sons.
It’s interesting to note that these poems were written when the poets were married.
The challenge is to write a poem in the format and style of either Plath or Hughes. It must be about something that grows or multiplies and is in some way invasive. Here are some suggestions, but you are free to choose your own:
Dandelions, nettles, buttercups, brambles, Japanese knotweed, Giant Hogweed, grey squirrels, rabbits (particularly in Australia), water primroses, phytoplankton, cane toads, signal crayfish and zebra mussels.
If you are new to the Poets Pub, here’s how to join in:
- Write a poem in response to the challenge.
- Read and comment on other poets’ work – we all come here to have our poems read.
- Please link back to dVerse from your site/blog.
- Comment and participate in our discussion below, if you like. We are a friendly bunch of poets.
- Have fun.