Sylvia Plath does Wislawa Szymborska’s “Lazarus Takes a Walk”
Lady Lazarus Takes a Walk
The poet has died three times now.
After the first death, she was taught to die as an artist does.
After the second, she learned how to pare her eye pits.
After the third, they even taught her to write,
Propped up by a sturdy Holocaust metaphor:
Let’s take a little walk, shall we, Miss?
The peanut-crunching crowd shoves in to see her following the accident
and yet – will wonders never cease – she’s come so far:
grave cave, skin skull, Jew Nazi, hurt write
One year in every ten, madam?
Nein, says the poet
At least she bleeds
for it was three
Hurt, mud, sit, seashell
But at the garden’s edge, that old cat
neither gold nor bloody
chased away nine times now
Her Herr Doktor, Or so she scrawls – who knows.
She wants to go to Him. Another miracle.
What a shame. She was so close that time.