A smile fell in the grass. Irretrievable! And how will your night dances Lose themselves. In mathematics? Such pure leaps and spirals ---- Surely they travel The world forever, I shall not entirely Sit emptied of beauties, the gift Of your small breath, the drenched grass Smell of your sleeps, lilies, lilies. Their flesh bears no relation. Cold folds of ego, the calla, And the tiger, embellishing itself ---- Spots, and a spread of hot petals. The comets Have such a space to cross, Such coldness, forgetfulness. So your gestures flake off ---- Warm and human, then their pink light Bleeding and peeling Through the black amnesias of heaven. Why am I given These lamps, these planets Falling like blessings, like flakes Six sided, white On my eyes, my lips, my hair Touching and melting. Nowhere.
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- by Sylvia Plath (1932 - 1963), "The Night Dances", appears in Ariel, first published 1965 [author's text checked 1 time 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 Frank Ahrold (b. 1931), "Night Dances" [ mezzo-soprano, flute, clarinet, bassoon, violoncello, vibraphone, percussion ], from Three Poems of Sylvia Plath [sung text not yet checked]
- by Maarten Altena (b. 1943), "The Night Dances", from Three Songs, no. 2 [sung text not yet checked]
- by Phillip Lambro (b. 1935), "The Night Dances", published 1974 [ soprano and orchestra ], from Four Songs, no. 1 [sung text not yet checked]
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website: 2004-05-09
Line count: 28
Word count: 133