Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Crossing the Water Paperback – May 9, 1980
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I in truth did not find the poems on the whole on what I would call the 'legendary level' that of Dickinson, Hopkins, Wallace Stevens, Yeats, those whose music make their lines incredibly memorable.
But I did find in these poems many startling and surprising lines, a world of metaphor extremely rich and often disconcerting. These are the poems, of a true original whose voice is pitched extremely high. They are poems in which the language too seems searching to reach an extreme level of feeling.
Perhaps the most well- known poem of the collection is the award winning 'Insomniac' which closes with a stanza typical of Plath.
"Nightlong , in the granite yard ,invisible cats
Have been howling like women, or damaged instruments.
Already he can feel daylight, his white disease,
Creeping up with her hatful of trivial repetitions.
The city is a map of cheerful twitters now,
And everywhere people, eyes mica- silver and blank,
Are riding to work in rows, as if recently brainwashed."
A happier and somewhat milder mood is expressed in the poem 'Love Letter' which I take to be about her relationship with Ted Hughes.
It opens with the following stanza.
"Not easy to state the change you made.
If I'm alive now, then I was dead,
Though , like a stone , unbothered by it,
Staying put according to habit.
You didn't just toeme an inch,no-
Nor leave me to set my small bald eye
Skyward again, without hope, of course,
Of apprehending blueness, or stars.
The poetry has a clear and coherent , readily readable structure of simple sentences. But those sentences are so complicated and charged with metaphor and feeling that they are difficult to decipher and comprehend. Their music is however far from being simply lyrical, but rather is harsh, discordant wild and searching.
A true poet yes, but not one to give us calm or peace, or certitude or help from pain.