we were all young once

and beautiful and young and full of beauty, searching seeking, hungry for fame and fortune, and loving the boundless wonder, the bounding of our wonder was a coffin built in our own sweaty back room, every momenet of adoration just the hammering and sawing of our own dark boxes. Eventually, however, we were all rotted bones and dried, pooled blood.


Preparation for this Ted and Sylvia thing has been – to say the least – protracted. Innocuously, it started with a random question to Thomas Day, posed after some word feeding at Woodford.  I said, “did you want to collaborate on this Ted Hughes/Sylvia Plath idea I have for a show?” Foolishly he said yes.

One element of unease in this process, however, is our culture’s particularly revolting ability to devour our idols. While I am at little risk of becoming famous, still, there is something so wholly artificial and revolting about fame culture to me that leaves me to hope that I never will be. God forbid anyone should ever rake through my adolescent diaries, my letters home to my mother, or talk to the catty cohort of my private school bosom buddies in order to find out just what was going on in my head at the darkest (or most meaningless) moments of my petty existence.

And yet, in collaborating on this show, in trawling, reading, poring, ponding and prodding at Ted and Sylvia like they were road kill at the side of the road, I am surely a part of our culture’s extraordinary capacity to take something beautiful or precious, to venerate it beyond recognition, to commodify it, and then castigate it for being so frail and so human as to disappoint us in its reality.




Categorized as musing

By Eleanor Jackson

Eleanor Jackson is a Filipino Australian poet, performer, arts producer, cyclist, writer, gal about town, feminist, freewheeler, and friend.

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