Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sunday Plath: Monday

The Everlasting Monday

Thou shalt have an everlasting
Monday and stand in the moon.

The moon's man stands in his shell,
Bent under a bundle
Of sticks. The light falls chalk and cold
Upon our bedspread.
His teeth are chattering among the leprous
Peaks and craters of those extinct volcanoes.

He also against black frost
Would pick sticks, would not rest
Until his own lit room outshone
Sunday's ghost of sun;
Now works his hell of Mondays in the moon's ball,
Fireless, seven chill seas chained to his ankle.

Sylvia Plath

She began that year still in England, but she was offered a teaching job at Smith College that fall. After moving back to Massachusetts Plath found little time for her writing, so I assume this poem was composed while she was still overseas.

Shortly before her death, Dr. Horder suggested that Plath be seen by another doctor who specialized in what we might now call premenstrual mood disorders. It doesn't add much to my reading of the poem, but I suspect that lunar references may point to such a lifelong difficulty.

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