Sunday, November 14, 2010


One of my favorite places is the Mortimer Rare Book Room at the Smith College's Neilsen Library.  In the nineties, when I lived in Keene, New Hampshire, I would visit the Rare Book Room each year on Sylvia Plath's birthday, October 27th; sometimes I pored over the Plath material held there -- letters, manuscripts, diaries, photographs -- wearing thin white gloves lest the oils of my skin damage the treasures; other times I sat in the handsome reading room reading from Plath's copy of Remembrance of Things Past.

One time the librarian, who'd always been welcoming and friendly, always a pleasure to see, gave me a copy of a booklet the library had published containing 13 pages of Plath's poem "Stings" in successive revisions in both manuscript and typescript.  It's a treasure.

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