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Illustration by Owen Davey

Capturing the Essence of Sylvia Plath in Song Lyrics

April 5, 2013 | by Faber Social

Tags: Leisure Society, Lyrics, Sylvia Plath, Translation

‘I’d never really explored Sylvia Plath’s work until a few years ago when I read her poem “Wuthering Heights”. I was completely floored by the desolate yet eerily beautiful imagery and it started a minor obsession. I read her almost exclusively for quite a few months.’

‘A year or so after my brief obsession I started writing a new song for what would become the new record, Alone Aboard the Ark. It was one of the last songs I wrote in this batch and I didn’t know what it was going to be about at first. As is usually the case one subconscious line triggered the lyrics:

‘Chains dredge the great lake around you, pull you along by the knots in your hair.’

For some reason the tone and rhythm of the line made me think of her so I did a bit of research into her life. The most inspiring thing I discovered were some tapes of old interviews with her and Ted Hughes.

Although there are a few specifics, I tried to keep the lyrics ambiguous and instead capture some small essence of her poems – or at least what they mean to me.’

— The lyrics quoted above are from The Leisure Society’s ‘The Sober Scent of Paper’ from their new album Alone Aboard the Ark.

— Illustration by Owen Davey.