Human on My Faithless Arm, Episode 4: Blackberrying
Welcome back to Human on My Faithless Arm, a series in which I recite from memory great poems in English—specifically the poems I use each night as lullabies for my infant daughter, Auden.
The fourth episode features my recitation of Sylvia Plath’s “Blackberrying” and some commentary on the ways that a good poem will, as Derek Walcott used to say, “orchestrate” you—but only if you let it. The episode can be found here:
The text of “Blackberrying” can be found here if you would like to follow along.
That this is one of Plath’s very best poems is obvious every single time I recite it to baby Auden, who cannot help herself from breaking out into smiles and gurgles of joy. (People like to think Plath’s achievement is in the content of her poems, but any infant could non-verbally tell you that this idea is impermanent.)
Thank you for listening. I hope you’ll join me for Episode 5 of Human on My Faithless Arm, in which I will introduce and recite Robert Frost’s “After Apple-picking.”
Daniel Bosch is Lecturer in English at Emory University and Senior Editor of Berfrois.