The Night Dances

by Sylvia Plath
A smile fell in the grass.
And how will your night dances
Lose themselves. In mathematics?
Such pure leaps and spirals –
Surely they travel
The world forever, I shall not entirely
Sit emptied of beauties, the gift
Of your small breath, the drenched grass
Smell of your sleeps, lilies, lilies.
Their flesh bears no relation.
Cold folds of ego, the calla,
And the tiger, embellishing itself –
Spots, and a spread of hot petals.
The comets
Have such a space to cross,
Such coldness, forgetfulness.
So your gestures flake off –
Warm and human, then their pink light
Bleeding and peeling
Through the black amnesias of heaven.
Why am I given
These lamps, these planets
Falling like blessings, like flakes
Six sided, white
On my eyes, my lips, my hair
Touching and melting.


“Nature has no consolation for us. Out of her formlessness issues forms which return to formlessness,——that is all. The plant becomes clay; the clay becomes a plant. When the plant turns to clay, what becomes of the vibration which was its life? Does it go on existing viewlessly, like the forces that shape spectres of frondage in the frost upon a window-pane?”
― Lafcadio Hearn

Photo: Anastasia Cojocaru