The Net-Menders

Loc Mai, "Net-Menders in a fishing village in Nhatran, Vietnam"
Loc Mai, „Net-Menders in a fishing village in Nhatran, Vietnam“

… Earthen fingers
Twist old words into the web-threads:

Tonight may the fish
Be a harvest of silver in the nets, and the lamps
Of our husbands and sons move sure among the low stars.

Sylvia Plath, “The Net-Menders”

Bildquelle: The Atlantic, „Running a Business Without a Bank“



I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.
Whatever I see I swallow immediately
Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike.
I am not cruel, only truthful-
The eye of the little god, four cornered.
Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall.
It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long
I think it is a part of my heart. But it flickers.
Faces and darkness separate us over and over.
Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me,
Searching my reaches for what she really is.
Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.
I see her back, and reflect it faithfully.
She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands.
I am important to her. She comes and goes.
Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness.
In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman
Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish.

Sylvia Plath

For a Fatherless Son / Einem vaterlosen Sohn

You will be aware of an absence, presently,
Growing beside you, like a tree,
A death tree, color gone, an Australian gum tree –
Balding, gelded by lightning – an illusion,
And a sky like a pig’s backside, an utter lack of attention.
But right now you are dumb.
And I love your stupidity,
The blind mirror of it. I look in
And find no face but my own, and you think that’s funny.
It is good for me
To have you grab my nose, a ladder rung.
One day you may touch what’s wrong –
The small skulls, the smashed blue hills, the godawful hush.
Till then your smiles are found money.

Sylvia Plath, aus „Ariel“


Du wirst bald eine Abwesenheit spüren,
Die neben dir wächst, wie ein Baum,
Ein Baum des Todes, farblos, ein australischer Gummibaum –
Der seine Blätter verliert, vom Blitz entmannt – eine Illusion,
Und ein Himmel wie der Rücken eines Schweins, ein völliger Mangel an Zuwendung.
Aber jetzt gerade bist du stumm.
Und ich liebe deinen Unverstand,
Seinen blinden Spiegel. Ich schaue hinein
Und entdecke nur mein eigenes Gesicht, und du glaubst, das sei lustig.
Mir tut es gut,
Wenn du nach meiner Nase greifst, einer Leitersprosse.
Eines Tages berührst du vielleicht das Falsche –
Die kleinen Schädel, die zerstörten blauen Hügel, die gottverdammte Stille.
Bis dahin ist mir dein Lächeln wie eine zufällig gefundene Münze.

Übersetzung von Alissa Walser