A Sorcerer Bids FarewellTo Seem

Sylvia Plath

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I'm through with this grand looking-glass hotel
where adjectives play croquet with flamingo nouns;
methinks I shall absent me for a while
from rhetoric of these rococo queens.
Item : chuck out royal rigmarole of props
and auction off each rare white-rabbit verb;
send my muse Alice packing with gaudy scraps
of mushroom simile and gryphon garb.

My native sleight-of-hand is wearing out :
mad hatter's hat yields no new metaphor,
and jabberwock will not translate his songs :
it's time to vanish like the cheshire cat
alone to that authentic island where
cabbages are cabbages; kings : kings.

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Comments3
  • Rainbow Rider

    "A Sorcerer Bids Farewell to Seem" was better when I read it younger.

    • pwymagaret

      "Loving the reference to 'mad hatter's hat', thoughts?"

      • Tima

        Just finished going through this poem and the symbolic richness is staggering! The part where the speaker mentions sending off the muse Alice with 'gaudy scraps of mushroom simile and gryphon garb' really packs in plenty of images. It definitely gives me a feel of how words can be toyed with to create a magical atmosphere, while also expressing the poet's exhausted creativity. A unique read!