A death tree (to Sylvia Plath).

avoid the outgrown garden,
her gown cut like a humming-bird
a cry of flesh and bone

a death tree for you

I often wonder where you've gone
summer grows over your body,
and I can't help but imagine

eyes to yours, a page of yours
a scripture, untouchable, in legacy
as the fuchsia grows on your grave

can't help but think 
thawing in fugue, trapping words
as heavy as your childhood

I am guilty of envy (poets often are)
a young woman; I wonder who you'd be now,
I wish your heart stayed beating;

a ship root into the sea,
and ash into the wood,
stunned by violets,
I lie; I am trapped by your words.

© 2021 lucysworks.com All Rights Reserved.

Written for the dVerse 5/18/21 prompt:

Select ONE of our favourite poets (a celebrated or a lesser known one) and write a poem either

  • About them (the indirect voice, as exemplified in the first two poems)
  • Addressing them in the direct voice.

It’s no secret how much I adore Sylvia Plath’s work. It’s wondrous, beautiful, and at times, tragic. She’s a poet that mystifies me completely, captivates a scenery beyond sheer word, and I wish she could have been on this earth for a while longer. It’s strange to miss someone that you never knew/never met, and who was gone long before you existed; I hope she’s in peace now.

  85 comments for “A death tree (to Sylvia Plath).

  1. May 18, 2021 at 10:57 pm

    I really like your tribute to Silvia Plath. Your images are so real as you lament the loss of a great writer. Wishing her heart and not stopped as she would have been a ships root into the sea…
    I often wonder where you’ve gone
    summer grows over your body … what a great image!

    Liked by 5 people

  2. May 18, 2021 at 11:01 pm

    I’ve had a similar thought reading these poems, they’re letters of envy, mimicking styles and people we’d like to emulate. Nicely done.

    Liked by 5 people

    • May 19, 2021 at 12:05 am

      I thought the same when reading through dVerse tonight, hence that particular line especially when it’s something I’ve experienced before. Thank you so much for your feedback!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. May 18, 2021 at 11:09 pm

    Sylvia Plath is a genius and so are you🖤

    Liked by 3 people

  4. May 19, 2021 at 12:12 am

    I love Sylvia’s style and you write it so well here! It’s easy to get trapped in her words and it’s interesting how we do come to know these legends in an intimate way as they are immortalized on the page as a “scripture, untouchable” yet very real and flawed like all of us.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. May 19, 2021 at 3:03 am

    I really love her. This is a wonderful tribute, Lucy!


    Liked by 3 people

  6. May 19, 2021 at 4:11 am

    Such beautiful imagery the hummingbird dress and the fuschia on the grave. Yes, you capture Plath and add your own spark.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. May 19, 2021 at 6:39 am

    This is one of those”I wish I’d written this” kind of poems – Plaths lineage runs in your veins – absolutely gorgeous writi g

    Liked by 3 people

    • May 19, 2021 at 8:07 am

      Thank you so very much, Laura.


  8. lily
    May 19, 2021 at 6:47 am

    What a beautiful tribute.

    I love this: “ash into the wood,
    stunned by violets”

    Liked by 3 people

  9. May 19, 2021 at 11:40 am

    Oh, Lucy yes! I really feel this. I lost my mum to suicide and she was a fan of Plath’s poetry, so I’m basically in bits now.
    ‘I wish your heart stayed beating’

    Liked by 3 people

  10. May 19, 2021 at 12:33 pm

    I can feel your mournful missing of your kindred spirit here, Lucy.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. May 19, 2021 at 12:36 pm

    wow, this is so so great. really great job… i love plath’s writing, such intense vivd writing. you captured her essence very well.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. May 19, 2021 at 12:42 pm

    Unbelievably Plath like ….. you captured her …. one of my favorites, Lucy! Cheers.

    Liked by 3 people

    • May 19, 2021 at 12:47 pm

      Aww, thank you Helen!


  13. May 19, 2021 at 1:23 pm

    This is brilliant Lucy. Sylvia did a helluva’ lotta’ livin’ in her 31 years — and not all easy. A most intelligent women. She began expressing herself in verse before she reached double digits in age. Excellent writing my ftiend! 👌

    Liked by 3 people

    • May 19, 2021 at 1:29 pm

      Thank you so much, Rob!


  14. May 19, 2021 at 2:31 pm

    I’m not a fan of Plath, but I think it’s nice that you have so much brightness, summer and hummingbirds in your poem to her. Being familiar with Heptonstall the place where Hughes dumped her and where she’s buried, I’d say those are things she’d appreciate.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. May 19, 2021 at 2:58 pm

    I thought you would do either Sylvia Plath or Ann Sexton… I wasn’t surprised… so many of her poems are also her story and somehow they come together as one with your poem

    Liked by 3 people

  16. sanaarizvi
    May 19, 2021 at 4:10 pm

    Being a huge fan of Plath, I really admire the emotion, the intensity of your tribute poem especially; “I often wonder where you’ve gone summer grows over your body, and I can’t help but imagine eyes to yours, a page of yours a scripture, untouchable, in legacy as the fuchsia grows on your grave.”💝💝

    Liked by 3 people

    • May 19, 2021 at 4:12 pm

      Thank you so, so much! 😊


  17. May 19, 2021 at 6:29 pm


    Liked by 3 people

  18. May 19, 2021 at 9:50 pm

    I love your style of writing

    Liked by 3 people

    • May 19, 2021 at 9:57 pm

      Aww, thank you. ❤


  19. May 20, 2021 at 4:05 am

    Well done tree treat. In this place I say hello to the hummingbird who only knows the nectar of the latest flower that it dances for. It is frivolous on the grave. A child will bring you to a feeder, and read you words, sing a song for rapid wings, maybe learn for you to play a non sequitur like “the flight of the bumble bee” just because it is fast and quickly done like life and death, to be in fugue in flight and in whimsical sadness until stunned in violet.

    Liked by 3 people

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  21. May 20, 2021 at 5:41 am

    this felt like a part of The Bell Jar. felt the haunting images. the subtle desperation. the adoration.

    Liked by 3 people

  22. May 20, 2021 at 10:32 am

    A beautiful dedication to a wonderful poet, another sad loss.

    Liked by 3 people

    • May 21, 2021 at 12:06 am

      Thank you for sharing. 💖


    • May 21, 2021 at 7:04 am

      Thank you for sharing my work! Much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. May 21, 2021 at 5:19 pm

    Oh Lucy….a wonderful tribute to this most excellent writer and complex woman.
    “as the fuchsia grows on your grave” and I love how you’ve embedded this bright color into this poem.

    Liked by 2 people

    • May 21, 2021 at 5:31 pm

      Thank you, Lillian! 😊


    • May 23, 2021 at 2:18 pm

      Thanks for sharing my work.


  24. May 23, 2021 at 7:54 pm

    Darn good write! Bravo!

    Liked by 3 people

  25. May 24, 2021 at 4:25 pm

    Wondrous, beautiful, and tragic notes seep into this piece! I love the metaphors that draw on the rawness of an outgrown garden and the more forest-y elements of fuchsia that loves cool areas and shade. I feel not death in this piece but a more mellow passing, perhaps of thought or imagination or simply something like youth that is slipping away and cannot be caught.
    Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 4 people

    • May 24, 2021 at 5:04 pm

      Aww, thank you so much Jaya for your feedback and analysis! ❤ ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  26. May 27, 2021 at 3:39 am

    Such a beautiful imagery
    I love this line
    I wish your heart stayed beating

    Liked by 4 people

  27. May 28, 2021 at 10:14 am

    Love it!🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

    Liked by 2 people

    • May 28, 2021 at 11:08 am

      Thank you so much! 😁


  28. May 29, 2021 at 10:51 am

    This is magnificent 👏

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 29, 2021 at 11:59 am

      Aww, thank you. 😊


  29. June 1, 2021 at 9:07 am

    Sylvia Plath is one of my favourite poets. I think she would have liked this poem! Plus, the fact that you used the imagery of a tree to convey your feelings is kind of significant, since Plath herself wrote poems revolving around trees too, like “Elm” and “The Moon and the Yew Tree”. This was a lovely tribute to her!

    Liked by 1 person

  30. June 2, 2021 at 9:44 am

    Very well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. June 4, 2021 at 12:49 am

    Bravo!!! Your words are elegant and roll right off the tongue! Sylvia would be proud!

    Thank you for stopping by my page and reading.

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 4, 2021 at 12:51 am

      Aww, thank you so very much! ❤ ❤

      And anytime! I enjoyed your work.


  32. June 4, 2021 at 7:59 am

    Sylvia and Anne Sexton. Lost too soon. Like Hemingway, maybe death was sweeter than life. Left more questions than answers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 4, 2021 at 8:04 am

      I agree with you. I wonder where they are now, sometimes.

      Liked by 1 person

      • June 4, 2021 at 8:22 am

        I wrote poetry for them. My Purgatory Inn series. They are waiting for me at the Purgatory Inn. I hope one day. To sit and have a long conversation with dear Lucy. If we read their words. They are still alive for us.

        Liked by 1 person

      • June 4, 2021 at 8:27 am


        Liked by 1 person

  33. June 9, 2021 at 8:54 pm

    Every line here is a knockout! Poignant and amazing. I especially love “summer grows over your body”

    Liked by 1 person

  34. June 10, 2021 at 5:10 pm

    Sylvia Plath was a beautiful soul and a legend and this tribute is heartfelt,
    Love this

    Liked by 1 person

    June 10, 2021 at 7:12 pm

    This is stunning, especially because I know how old you are. The gown cut like a hummingbird, stunned by violets, all of it. Bravo!

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 10, 2021 at 7:27 pm

      Aww, thank you. That really means a lot to hear that, Colleen. ❤ ❤


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