First, are you our sort of a person? Do you wear A glass eye, false teeth or a crutch, A brace or a hook, Rubber breasts or a rubber crotch, Stitches to show something's missing? No, no? Then How can we give you a thing? Stop crying. Open your hand. Empty? Empty. Here is a hand To fill it and willing To bring teacups and roll away headaches And do whatever you tell it. Will you marry it? It is guaranteed To thumb shut your eyes at the end And dissolve of sorrow. We make new stock from the salt. I notice you are stark naked. How about this suit---- Black and stiff, but not a bad fit. Will you marry it? It is waterproof, shatterproof, proof Against fire and bombs through the roof. Believe me, they'll bury you in it. Now your head, excuse me, is empty. I have the ticket for that. Come here, sweetie, out of the closet. Well, what do you think of that ? Naked as paper to start But in twenty-five years she'll be silver, In fifty, gold. A living doll, everywhere you look. It can sew, it can cook, It can talk, talk , talk. It works, there is nothing wrong with it. You have a hole, it's a poultice. You have an eye, it's an image. My boy, it's your last resort. Will you marry it, marry it, marry it.
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- by Sylvia Plath (1932 - 1963) [author's text not yet checked against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive):
- by Phillip Lambro (b. 1935), "The Applicant", published 1974 [ soprano and orchestra ], from Four Songs, no. 2 [sung text not yet checked]
- by John Mitchell (b. 1941), "The Applicant", op. 104 no. 4 (2000), from Four Poems by Sylvia Plath, no. 4 [sung text checked 1 time]
Researcher for this text: Victoria Brago
This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 40
Word count: 238