Pages

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

busted tooth and a smile

"I wish I had a Sylvia Plath Busted tooth and a smile And cigarette ashes in her drink The kind that goes out and then sleeps for a week The kind that goes out on her...."
~Ryan Adams:"Sylvia Plath"

Photo of a white dog taken at the north end of Church Street, Heptonstall in 1921.

'Sylvia Plath was a lifelong anti-smoker, though she did begin to smoke in the last six months or so of her life. (Ted Hughes mentions in his letters how much this surprised him). Since Sylvia never really had time to settle in to smoking it is likely she would have smoked mild cigarettes - perhaps Embassy, Strand, or Guards. She would not have been smoking Senior Service or Capstan'.........{source} Or "Black Cat" Presumably.which is a great inconvenient shame as that's the Theme of this week's Sepia Saturday 

[Here are a few photos I took in 2006 of the Heptonstall Grave of American Poet & Novelist Sylvia Plath .]
I shall ignore the facts  about Heptonstall being a smokeless Zone& swiftly move on.................Although Sylvia didn't smoke Black Cats, she did inhale the word "black"......e.g.  
......I have been drugged and raped.
Seven hours knocked out of my right mind Into a black sack
Where I relax, foetus or cat,
Lever of his wet dreams.......
 The Jailer by Sylvia Plath

Heptonstall:25th April 2012:Pace Egg Play.
[click here to read about "The Pace Egg Play"}
HEPTONSTALL SHADOWS
"Explore streets and ginnels around Heptonstall for tales from the shadier sides of its local history with witchcraft, dark deeds and other lamentations ...........!"Meet John Billingsley at 2.15 pm Sunday May 5th 2013: at the main Heptonstall carpark, near the Bowling Club (follow the signs).
I go with Cath to this on Sunday.We know John.He's a good bloke:local librarian : He loves folk music & I often talk with  him at gigs with his Japanese Wife. Below ,I hope to add photos/video of his walk& talk here.........
High above my house in Hebden Bridge is the hilltop village of Heptonstall. Cute steep place.Funny though, remember I bought a cheap derelict place in Italian Mountains?I am {sporadically }"doing-it-up" as they say in D.I.Y. circles.........Anyhow.The more I consider it,the more that Italian Village { Pennadomo} Reminds me of Heptonstall.
The same Quietness:Isolation;Old Large Stone Buildings:Narrow Winding steep cobbled streets.The feeling that the buildings are squeezing & trying to smoother you.Quite why I should be attracted to 2 similar places/so far apart......I do not understand.The topic will be on my mind as i walk around the village on Sunday.....I Take It Everybody does know who Sylvia  was? If  you don't,here's the full dope from
{ wikipedia }




"They put me in bloody Heptonstall. Now don’t get me wrong this is a beautiful village and is one of Yorkshire’s best kept secrets. But this was a village high above the main valleys. Not far above tis true but it meant a second bus ride or a steep walk up the hill for a mile or more. When I say steep, I should really say very steep, even bloody steep. You could go the long way up the road that went up the hill from Hebden Bridge or you could take a short cut up the lines of steps and paths that cut across diagonally from the centre of the town and then met the road halfway up. It was an old ancient path and stone step way, ‘the buttress’, that dated back hundreds of years to a time of cottage weavers and an age when everybody walked up and down that hill, usually carrying great packs on their backs of provisions, cloth or goods to trade.
By gum they must have been fit people. Or were they? Most of them were dead by the time they were 50 or by the time they got to the top of the hill. .......".{Read More>>} Dave Thomas
HEPTONSTALL SHADOWS:John Billingsley:Sunday 5th May 2013

29 comments:

Kristin said...

The first photo of the kids on the see-saw look like it would fit for that prompt of kids turning upside down.
The walks look interesting, the man in the play looks horrifying.
The poem is too depressing.

Karen S. said...

Oh I would go too, if I were anywhere near there. Sounds like one awesome blast to me. Great photos, post more! As for dear sweet. sad story Sylvia, poor lost soul, Meg Ryan so wanted to play her in a role, that I'm still hoping they will make that movie someday! Enjoy yourself Tony!

Brian Miller said...

plath was such an interesting character on the world stage...and an interesting story to her as well...what an interesting pic that second one is...plath def plays the emotions in her verse...and books...

Kurt said...

I read Sylvia Plath in college but didn't understand a word.

Akelamalu said...

Love the photo of the kids on the see-saw!

I wonder what happened to make Sylvia take up smoking?

Helen Bauch McHargue said...

Too bad we never see children having fun like this any longer..at least around here. Everything has been deemed too dangerous. The contrast between the joyful white dog with his entourage and the dark, sad and smoking Sylvia is brilliant.

Helen Bauch McHargue said...

Too bad we no longer see children having so much fun in a simple way...at least around here. Everything has been deemed too dangerous. The contrast between the joyful white dog with his entourage and the sad, dark, smoking Sylvia is brilliant.

Alex Daw said...

My mother loved Sylvia Plath. We lean to the dark side in our family. My sisters-in-law are wary of my movie recommendations. "Oh you'll just love it....it's so so sad."

tony said...

Akey...Ted Hughes I Would Imagine ;)

barbara and nancy said...

I love your photo of the egg play - but not sure what exactly it is. Is it an Easter time thing?
I'm not a bit surprised that Sylvia Plath took up smoking. It's just the thing for a very depressed person to do.
Very interesting post.
Nancy

Rosie said...

A very unusual post, a little dark...but interesting.

FrankandMary said...

I do love that picture.

Ted could drive anyone to smoke, so I am a bit surprised she didn't start sooner. He also had a gf who killed their baby & then herself while she was with Ted. He was a regular good luck charm.

tony said...

Ted Hughes was born 2 Miles from my house.He's our local Shakespeare i guess.....But I Much Prefer Sylvia's stuff.
Ted's Poems (to Me) Reek of misogyny.And, literary, have no humanity in them.The Elements are fine+essential but its nice to hear a pulse as well.I don't hear that in Ted.
To be fair to him though.....Sylvia was damaged well before she met him.Its a tad unfair to blame her death on him?

tony said...

...if you take the title of this post (from Ryan Adam's lyric)....Ted was the Broken Tooth & Sylvia was the smile.

FrankandMary said...

You are right that I should not be blaming her death on him...I think, rather, that I cannot imagine he was any "help" in her struggle.

TICKLEBEAR said...

I knew Sexton, but not Plath.
thanks, this speaks volume to me,
or maybe you already knew that.
We've "known" each other for awhile now...
As for Ted, a suicide chicks magnet? Or was he really the cause, willingly or not?!?...
I'm not making excuse for him, just trying to understand what's really at play here...
:/~
HUGZ

tony said...

Bruno.You know Hebden Bridge has a very large Lesbian Community+a Very Large Feminist-Friendly Community.Over The Years Since Ted Hughes Buried Sylvia in Heptonstall (& why there and not London or Massachusetts ?)Her grave has been a magnet both for the literati & for feminists protesting her burial there.For a time they had to take her headstone down to prevent anti-Hughes abuse/graffiti .
In don't really understand it all (although I recognize the passion).It does seem a cruel memorial to have planted her ,out of the way, in a place she had little contact with in her lifetime.

Wendy said...

Such an interesting direction for this week's theme. I love how you think.

Postcardy said...

I didn't really know who Sylvia Plath was, though I had heard her name occasionally.

Brett Payne said...

Both of the images are very striking, and an interesting choice. I've yet to read any of Sylvia Plath's work, but came across another reference to her recently, so it has to be on my "to-do" list.

Alan Burnett said...

Typical of the top end of the valley, all poets and folk singers. Get to the lower valley and we are more practical - brass bands and printers ink. But seriously Tony, a smashing post, doing what a good blog post should do and taking me to unexpected places.

anyjazz said...

The look into the life of Plath was an absorbing read but the photographs always get my attention first. The first two are gems.

Bob Scotney said...

A riveting post, I was hooked from the start. Plath deserved a more personal burial site.

Pat transplanted to MN said...

Oh the kids on the see saw brings back memories. Sylvia Plath was "earthy" certainly. The Heptonstall Grave photo appears Dickensian to me. Good to catch up with you once again, online.

Pat transplanted to MN said...

PS Tony I saw your comment on another that you are trying to stop smoking and having withdrawal. I kept Jerry supplied with chewing gum, candy and licorice sticks which helped the hands. I had a friend who used empty straws when she was quitting. Best of luck to you it is a hard habit to break but can be done.

tony said...

Thanks Pat.Its only 5 days free!So,Early Daze! I have a strange history with smoking.I didnt start until i was 18 (working shifts in a hospital started me))Then in 1988 when my son was born i gave up for 9 years& then started again.I'm rather good at giving up but,unfortunately,I'm even better at starting again!

Mike Brubaker said...

A good spin on the theme, Tony. You have to wonder about someone taking up smoking late in life. Perhaps it fit a poet's life style to be out of the ordinary. The Pace egg story was an interesting side story too.

Tattered and Lost said...

Throughly enjoyed this!

It would be grand to walk about having a lecture from this fellow.

Jim Froggatt said...

Is that girl with the long hair that Sylvia Plath? She looks a right cracker.