Erica Jong is an American novelist and poet, a website with a wealth of information about her can be found at http://www.ericajong.com.
In Sylvia Plath Country for Grace The skin of the sea has nothing to tell me. I see her diving down into herself-- past the bell-shaped jellyfish who toll for no one-- & meaning to come back. * In London, in the damp of a London morning, I see her sitting, folding & unfolding herself, while the blood hammers like rain on her heart's windows. This is her own country-- the sea, the rain & death half rhyming with her father's name. Obscene monosyllable, it lingers for a while on the roof of the mouth's house. I stand here savoring the sound, like salt. * They thought your death was your last poem: a black book with gold-tooled cover & pages the color of ash. But I thought different, knowing how madness doesn't believe in metaphor. When you began to feel the drift of continents beneath your feet, the sea's suck, & each atom of the poisoned air, you lost the luxury of simile. Gull calls, broken shells, the quarried coast. This is where America ends, dropping off to the depths. Death comes differently in California. Marilyn stalled in celluloid, the frame stuck, & the light burning through. Bronze to her platinum, Ondine, Ariel, finally no one, what could we tell you after you dove down into yourself & were swallowed by your poems?From FRUITS AND VEGETABLES by Erica Jong. Copyright 1971 by Erica Mann Jong. Used by permission, all rights reserved.