Monday, November 15, 2010

New Treasures

Today a packet came in the mail; Karen Kukil, with whom I shared my photos of the induction of Sylvia Plath into The Poets' Corner, and who is Associate Curator at the Mortimer Rare Book Room at Smith College, gifted me with the handsomely bound (handsome inadequately describes it) and exquisitely printed catalog of an excellent exhibition I attended in 2005 at The Grolier Society in New York City; this exhibition, called "No Other Appetite - Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, and the Blood Jet of Poetry" consisted of documents, photographs, and other items, including a Royal manual typewriter which Plath had owned.  Seeing these things was, as my Irish friends say, grand.

(As I looked at the poster advertising the exhibit on the way out, it occurred to me that vastly much more had been delivered than I'd expected ... I'd already seen so much Plathiana -- most thrills had been experienced.  Wrong.  This exhibit was beyond beyond.

And then, as I stepped out onto East 60th, thinking of posters, and drenched as I am in pop culture, I thought of John Lennon's lyrics for "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite" -- lyrics whose inspiration was a vintage poster advertising a circus; excitement upon excitement was promised by the poster, and promised, too, in the lyrical-genius's lyrics: "The Hendersons will all be there/Late of Pablo Fanque's fair/What a scene!"  I improvised: "The manuscripts will all be there/And photos of her favorite chair/What a dream!")

Also in the packet: four cards with envelopes; on the card's front: a quote from Plath's journals and a picture of Plath.

I'm blessed.  In a note of thanks to the curator I said, "For someone who likes to think he eschews possessions as a Buddhist might, I'm holding these items very close."

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