Sylvia Plath

Two Views Of A Cadaver Room

1 The day she visited the dissecting room They had four men laid out, black as burnt turkey, Already half unstrung. A vinegary fume Of the death vats clung to them; The white-smocked boys started working. The head of his cadaver had caved in, And she could scarcely make out anything In that rubble of skull plates and old leather. A sallow piece of string held it together. In their jars the snail-nosed babies moon and glow. He hands her the cut-out heart like a cracked heirloom. 2 In Brueghel's panorama of smoke and slaughter Two people only are blind to the carrion army: He, afloat in the sea of her blue satin Skirts, sings in the direction Of her bare shoulder, while she bends, Finger a leaflet of music, over him, Both of them deaf to the fiddle in the hands Of the death's-head shadowing their song. These Flemish lovers flourish;not for long. Yet desolation, stalled in paint, spares the little country Foolish, delicate, in the lower right hand corner

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