How many years do you mean to live after I am gone?
After a season of fever
the grave was a cool shelter,
a haven for the soul accursed,
the heart betrayed,
the body scorched.
And still I sing the question around the Heights, love.
The north wind and I scream and laugh and weep
I ride the driven snow.
It is no paler than my shade.
I have danced like a fairy woman in caves of ice,
on the banks of slow-rolling subterranean streams,
the worthless body
the shroud of stone that bound me to the earth
shed like a shadow in the shawled mirror
And still I sing the question on winter nights,
the north wind and I weird sisters,
screaming, laughing, weeping, mourning at last.
You do not come to me.
You fear your death at my cold hands, my frosty kisses.
Poem copyright 1993/2011 by Faire Lewis.
In notes accompanying individual works in The Collected Poems of Sylvia Plath, the late Ted Hughes characterizes several poems as “fragment[s] extracted from a tangle of corrected manuscript” and concludes “this poem must be regarded as unfinished.” That’s rather how I feel about this one, which I ran across in the course of going through a container of old journals before consigning them to the shredder–
but damned if I can figure out how to finish this one– (^_^)