Family Reunion Poem by Sylvia Plath

Family Reunion

Rating: 5.0

Outside in the street I hear
A car door slam; voices coming near;
Incoherent scraps of talk
And high heels clicking up the walk;
The doorbell rends the noonday heat
With copper claws;
A second's pause.
The dull drums of my pulses beat
Against a silence wearing thin.
The door now opens from within.
Oh, hear the clash of people meeting —-
The laughter and the screams of greeting :

Fat always, and out of breath,
A greasy smack on every cheek
From Aunt Elizabeth;
There, that's the pink, pleased squeak
Of Cousin Jane, out spinster with
The faded eyes
And hands like nervous butterflies;
While rough as splintered wood
Across them all
Rasps the jarring baritone of Uncle Paul;
The youngest nephew gives a fretful whine
And drools at the reception line.

Like a diver on a lofty spar of land
Atop the flight of stairs I stand.
A whirlpool leers at me,
I cast off my identity
And make the fatal plunge.

Michael Walker 25 June 2020

Her sound images about the imminent family reunion are convincing to me. 'A car door slam'. She feels different and on the outer at her family reunion, which is not at all uncommon. There is a hint of her future suicide: 'I cast off my identity/ And make the fatal plunge'.

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Michael Walker 25 June 2020

A sensitive look at a family reunion.

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Shaun Cronick 01 February 2020

Such a tragic loss to the world of poetry. Rest easy good Sylvia. And thank you.

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Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath

Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts
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