Winter 2004 • Vol. XXVI No. 1 Poetry |

Folded Back

I. In Plath's late poem "Edge," the perfected woman's two dead children have been folded back into her body. However one envisions this, the image is disturbing: finality of dead against the cosiness of fold as in a folded blanket; pair of wings; nesting, protective. Or as in a book whose pages are folded back to mark a place. II. Children who emerge from being characters in books are also folded back into them again, but with this difference: they are not dead. Never having lived, they cannot die. For characters in fiction—grownups too—the printed page provides the same good matrix as one of those tall glasses full of water in which as a child I loved to watch Japanese paper flowers surprisingly unfold. The glass once emptied, what was left? Sad shreds of sopping color that would dry in time but never would or could again unfurl like that, could never simply open out, transform themselves to poppy, peony, blossom that never was on sea or land. III. Each paper

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Déjà Vu

By Rachel Hadas

I. In Plath's late poem "Edge," the perfected woman's two dead children have been folded back into her body. However one envisions this, the image is disturbing: finality of dead […]

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