A Poem by James McFadyen

'The trouble about jumping was that if you didn't pick the right number of stories, you might still be alive when you hit bottom.' — Sylvia Plath

In scattered moonlight, stirred 
Thoughts reflect upon the black absence 
Within my soul. Like stardust sparkle 
Sublime sadness meets the smoke 
Of breath so cold, I sit, comforted 
By weeping arms 
Its branches do look sturdy though.

Wrap this unloose scarf more tight
Speak softly to this fine winters air 
And shudder as the heart piercing barb
Is wrenched, returned to Aphrodite's quiver
I bleed, and wet the frozen ground
A love, unreturned, shall never be found. 

Oh woe, I despair! What life is this?
I waste in idle existence, a weight in misery 
I ask of the ancient woodwork 
Can this bough carry my burden?
Sling and tie the knot fast
The inaction of my weary soul 
Shall swing in perpetual motion.

How ghastly such a sight would be 
I see yonder window, the light flicker 
And yearn that you will hear my cry 
In the hope that you might save me.     

© 2014 James McFadyen

Author's Note

James McFadyen
Please do not take this too literally. I only express my deepest feelings and darkest of thoughts that currently reflect my mood. I care too much about the lives of my family and friends to pull off such a stunt.

I am also deterred by my cowardice.

I thank you sincerely if you are able to understand. If not, and if you happen to find my writing in tandem to this disclaimer to be somewhat superfluous, then I can only state that there is something I find incontrovertibly sublime, and cathartic about death.

As for the quote, I am a great admirer of Plath and how she has the ability, and is unhindered by the controversy of her received writing, to romanticise death and suicide. She beautifully illuminates with her words and language the dark, cavernous pits of depression. The quote epitomises her schizoid perspective of life and a perceived grotesque ambiguity of reality. Nonetheless, it is her reality in terms of her psychosis (Read Deborah S. Gentry's "The Art of Dying: Suicide in the works of Kate Chopin and Sylvia Plath").

Kindest Regards
James McFadyen

My Review

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Wow this a strong , dark piece, that had me totally hooked from start to finish.
The imagery you create is haunting but fantastic.
"In hope that you might save me"
I wonder is everyone that toys with death secretly hopes this?

Posted 3 Years Ago

There's something Gothic in your word choices, and I think that really works in your favour here. Inner turmoil becomes sublime spectacle, a performance of angst. I also like how the narrative voice personifies his surroundings. It's subtle, but it wonderful illustrates loneliness. I hope you didn't suffer too much in getting to the place to write this, keep up the good work!

Posted 3 Years Ago

She truly did flirt with suicide and the ambiguity of reality all throughout her life. I saw a 2003 movie named "Sylvia" that chronicled her life and depression, played brilliantly by Gwenyth Paltrow. It shook me to the core...I sat down and wrote my own interpretation of what happened. It's posted under "Sylvia Plath" if you're interested.

You are a remarkable writer, James. I loved your closing stanza the best, for I believe that in her last attempt at suicide, she perhaps thought someone would find her in time.

"I see yonder window, the light flicker
And yearn that you will hear my cry
In the hope that you might save me."

My best,

Posted 3 Years Ago

0 of 1 people found this review constructive.

James McFadyen

3 Years Ago

Thank you ever so much Kelly, to have someone who has vast knowledge and compassion for Sylvia Plath.. read more
Kelly Scheppers

3 Years Ago

You are very welcomed, James!
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:) like it! Vivid descriptions and deep imagery stirrings..

Posted 3 Years Ago

This was very deep and oh so sad. Thanks so much John for sending me the RR on this. James, this was great, I really enjoyed this today.

Posted 4 Years Ago

A fine poem from a talented poet. You might like the book about suicide `The Savage God ` from the literarture critic Alan Alvarez ( who died, sadly, I believe, recently ) who knew Plath and Hughes well and comments brillantly about her death.What I like here is the modern content packed in to a frame that echoes Shelly or Keats ( Oh woe, what life is this ?) so you do very well here, fine job.

Posted 4 Years Ago

A beautiful, dark, and sad piece. The best place for such feelings is paper or canvas. Good that you recognize it.

Posted 4 Years Ago

I for one was glad to read your disclaimer sir for you sit beneath the glowing sun of greatness should you choose to survive winter and unrequited 'love'. As you know I relate to such feelings and your writing as they mirror my own at times in my life. But today I cantered and such bliss even in the cold to sit behind the flowing mane as the horse bolts. Another sublime write James.

Posted 4 Years Ago

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9 Reviews
Shelved in 1 Library
Added on December 4, 2014
Last Updated on December 4, 2014


James McFadyen
James McFadyen

London, Richmond upon Thames, United Kingdom

Student by day, attemptee-author by night. Studying English and History BA/HONS at the University of Exeter. more..


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