Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thursday- 2nd week radiation

There's an unpleasant tone that creeps into many of Anne Sexton's poems-- Plath can certainly be darkly, sharply ironic, but there's an underlying decency there. So I always trust her. Not so with Sexton. Which is why, I think, that Transformations is about the only collection of hers that I do like. The nasty tone perfectly fits the Grimm tales, full of treachery and institutional malevolence (it's a moral universe with rules, but the rules aren't constant. You meet a dwarf in a wood. He begs a favor. In some tales, the good simpleton who helps him is rewarded. In others, it's the evil twin who selfishly hoards all his bread and beats the hapless gnome with a stick who gets the magic wishes and marries the princess). At any rate, it has been wonderful to reread these poems-- with their surprising images and turns of phrase. "And then I knew that the voice/of the spirits had been let in--/as intense as an epileptic aura--/and that no longer would I sing/alone."

We're almost done with the second week of radiation and Skip continues to fare fairly well. We saw the doc yesterday and I got the feeling she was displeased with us. She told Skip to avoid working in the yard. He told her he couldn't do that unless it was actually harming him in some way. "I want to be able to do what I can as long as possible." She set her mouth in a hard line. When he asked me about the visit today I told him, "I got the feeling she disapproves of us--." "Yeah, I got that feeling, too. Just because I was a little feisty."

Today I had to use the bathroom at the radiation clinic. Over the toilet a poisonous sign--
"If you are getting chemotherapy, flush twice."

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