Translator of Greek literary works
Home | Poetry | Plato Translations | Translation of Greek Literature | Talks | Links | Contact


Artemis Poems (IV)
Dutiful Wife
Eros in Piccadilly
Erotisis (Question)
Facing Hydra
Fair Hermia
Homage to Sylvia Plath
Letters Home (I)
Letters Home (II)
Letters Home (III)
Letters Home (IV)
Letters Home (V)
Old Flame
Old Photos
Parsifal II
Persephone to Demeter
The Church at Malaucene
The Music
Train Journey


Greek Translations

Άρτεμις IV
Στο Τραίνο


Related pages

Changing the Story
River Work

Homage to Sylvia Plath


A warm breeze shakes the poplar leaves
And the ash tree rustles as we pass.

There is a copse, of pine trees
Rising tall against the sky

A little hillock where two ladies sit and talk.
A bench for us and time for you and me to sit again
And while away an hour

Your dear hand on my knee
Your lips, the only ones for me.


Love, death, and love
We knew them then and know them better now.

I lay no claim to them, nor should I keep you
More than I would the breathless spirit of spring
Night's winter fastness,
Autumn's gold
The dry heat of summer

Blessings of life distilled and confined now
To where the sea
Has flung itself and left again,
To where the sun still
Draws off the wave and
Reduces it, in time,
To pure salt crystal:

Antiseptic, curative, preservative,
Turned on the tongue,
Life's irresistible necessity and relish.

(Note: Sylvia Plath's poem Morning Song has an image -

I'm no more your mother
Than the cloud that distills a mirror to reflect its own slow
Effacement at the wind's hand.

She is my favourite poet, and my poem looks for the salt in life - to preserve us from love's cruelty. Also it hopes that the relish for love is linked to its necessity; not to be thought of as a luxury, but as something fine and lasting and there to do us good, if we can only have the stomach for it).

© Irene Noel-Baker (2024)