More translations by Lisa Katz in Spring 2002:
Lisa Katz is a Contributing Editor for The Drunken Boat
Elegy for Sylvia Plath
Too many losses to count on the day that you died,
everyone losing at the same time:
my friend Karen with a boy she never saw again,
and Frank with his girlfriend,
childhood receding without a goodbye.
I didn't know you were suffering, drugged, unable
to buy a stamp and mail your letter,
your poems to the editor. You wanted
to write, you were a child yourself at thirty.
Look, a pen is not enough
when one dreams of perfection.
I want to be complete myself. But does there have to be
I would never be Frank's first.
But then, on his birthday,
I didn't know what was happening to any of you.
It was only later
that I learned the whole story.
At the peak of my homemade ecstasy,
maybe I jolted in my dreams,
or I breathed quietly
just as you were ending everything.
Frank was coming for the first time
not in a hand or a mouth.
And afterward someone flushed a toilet.
But by then you were gone.