Sylvia Script - Dialogue Transcript

Voila! Finally, the Sylvia script is here for all you quotes spouting fans of the Sylvia Plath movie with Gwyneth Paltrow and Daniel Craig.  This script is a transcript that was painstakingly transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of Sylvia. I know, I know, I still need to get the cast names in there and I'll be eternally tweaking it, so if you have any corrections, feel free to drop me a line. You won't hurt my feelings. Honest.

Swing on back to Drew's Script-O-Rama afterwards for more free movie scripts!

Sylvia Script





[ Woman Narrating ]

Dying is an art.



Like everything else,



I do it exceptionally well.



I do it so it feels like hell.



I do it so it feels real.



I guess you could say I have a call.



New edition

of The Saint Botolph's Review.



New edition

of The Saint Botolph's Review.



New edition

ofThe Saint Botolph's Review.



[ Woman ]







Excuse me.






Tom, where are the magazines?



They got held up at the printers.



I saw you selling them.



Oh, that's right.

[ Chuckles ]



They didn't review me, did they?



No, they...

reviewed you all right.



It's Poetry, page     .



''Essentially commercial.''



''Bourgeois poetic.''



''Nakedly ambitious.''

It's not very flattering.



Who the hell

do they think they are?



Well, you can ask them yourself

if you want.



There's a launch party

at the Women's Union tonight.



 :  .



Where is he?




The one who wrote it.

What, that stuff about you?



No. The one who wrote

''Fallgrief s Girlfriend.''



This Edward Hughes.



Ted. He's over there.



- I read your poems.

- What?



As soon as I saw them,

I knew they were the real thing.



Great, big, crashing poems.



Not blubbering baby stuff

like the others.



They're colossal.






Great blowing winds

on steel girders.



You like?

I like.



''Oh, most dear,

unscratchable diamond.''



Who the hell are you?



Sylvia Plath.



Sylvia Plath.



The one whose poem--

You tore to shreds.



No. No.




It was the editor.



He must have known

you were very beautiful.



You're all there, aren't you?




I am.



I have an obligation

in the other room.



Oh,Jesus Christ!



This I'll keep.



[ Sylvia Thinking ]

Black marauder.



One day I'll have my death ofhim.



''One day I'll have

my death of him''?



It's a bit morbid, isn't it?

He's my black marauder.



Well, don't get your hopes up.



Why? What have you heard?

Him and his crowd,

all they care about is poetry.



Anything else is a distraction.



Including steady girlfriends.



Even pretty American ones...



with Fulbright scholarships

and red bicycles.



[ Sylvia ]

Ted Hughes.

Ted Hughes.



Edward Hughes. Edward Hughes.



Sylvia Plath.

Ted Hughes.



Mrs. Sylvia Hughes.



[ Tom ]

Get over.

[ Chuckling ]




Oh, shit!



- Wh-Which one?

- That one.



How the bloody hell do you know?

The light's on.



What are you doing?

Stand back.



[ Ted ]

Oh, bugger.



Give us a shot.



Here. Ooh!



What are you trying to do?

Bloody hell!

[ Chuckles ]



Oh, shit. Shit!



[ Both Chuckling ]




Who is it?

Who's there?



I'm looking

for Miss Sylvia Plath.



Well, she's not here,

so just bugger off.



Excuse me.



Please, could you tell her

that Edward Hughes--



Ted Hughes called for her.



You're late.



He was here.




Your black marauder.



Him and his little playmate, legless,

chucking clods at my window.



- Thought it was yours apparently.

- What did he say?



[ Chuckles ]

Nothing comprehensible.



Sylvia, he left an address.



''The chief defect of Henry King

was chewing little bits of string.



''At last he swallowed some

which tied itself in ugly knots inside.



Physicians of the utmost fame

were called at once--''



[ Ted ]

No, no, no. It's-- It's magic.



It's not about magic.

It's not like magic.



- It is magic.

- ''When Henry with his latest breath,

cried, 'Oh, my friends--'''



It's real magic.

It's not conjuring tricks...



- or pulling rabbits

out ofbloody hats.

- Bugger!






spells, ceremonies, rituals--

wh-what are they?



[ Ted ]

They're poems.

''But if it comes to slaughter--''



So what's a poet?

He's a shaman,

that's what he is.



Or she.



- ''Now in Injia's sunny clime,

where I used to spend my time--''

- A fucking good poem is a weapon.



It's-- and not like a--

a popgun or something.



- ''It was 'Din! Din! Din!'''

- It's a bomb.

It's like a bloody big bomb.



That's why they make children

learn them in school.




Water, get it.! Panee lao! ''



They don't want them messing about

with them on their own.



I mean,just imagine

if a sonnet went off accidentally.






Drink.! Drink.!




[ Laughing ]




Come on, Sylvia.

Go on.Just get up.



[ Laughing ]

Give us some of your American poetry.

Go on.



''If it be you that stir

these daughters' hearts...



''against their father,



''let not women's weapons,


stain my cheeks.!



- ''No, you unnatural hags,

I will have such revenges on you both...

- Faster!



''that all the world shall--

I will do such things--



- ''What they are, yet I know not,

but they shall be the terrors of the earth.

- Faster!



''You think I'll weep.

No, I'll not weep:

I'll have full cause of weeping:



but this heart shall break

into a hundred thousand flaws,

or ere I'll weep. O fool, I shall go mad!''



[ All Cheering ]

[ Tom ]

Come on, Ted.



''I know you all,

and will awhile uphold

the unyok'd humor of your idleness:



''Yet herein will I imitate the sun

who doth permit the base contagious clouds

to smother up his beauty from the world.



''That, when he please again to be himself,

being wanted, he may be more wondered at...



''by breaking through the foul and ugly mists

of vapors that did seem to strangle him.




''If all the years were playing holiday,

to sport would be as tedious as to work:



''And when they seldom come,

they wish'd-for come,

and nothing pleaseth but rare accidents.



''So, when this loose behavior I throw off

and pay the debt I never promised,



''by how much better than my word I am,

by so much shall I falsify men's hopes:



''And, like bright metal on a sullen ground,

my reformation, glitt'ring o'er my fault,




''shall show more goodly

and attract more eyes

than that which hath no foil to set it off.



''I'll so offend to make offense a skill,



redeeming time

when men think least I will.''



[ Ted ]

You buggers.



-[ Tom ]

Morecambe, again.

- Okay.



''Ah, dearJuliet,

why art thou yet so fair?



''Shall I believe

that unsubstantial death is amorous,



and that the lean abhorred monster keeps

thee here in dark to be his paramour?''



''For fear of that

I still will stay with thee,



''and never from this palace

of dim night depart again.






Here will I remain

with worms that are thy chambermaids.''



''O you...



''the doors of breath,

seal with a righteous kiss...



a dateless bargain to engrossing death!''



''Here's to my love.''



''Thus with a kiss...



I die.''



How did you get the scar?



I tried to kill myself three years ago.



I broke into the box

where my mother kept

the sleeping pills.



Went down to the basement,

into the crawl space

underneath the house.



And I took them,

and I went to sleep.



Did you ever have something

that you wanted to erase?









And I took too many

of the damn things,

and I puked them up.



Then three days later

my mother and brother found me

and pulled me out.



And what about the scar?



I ripped my cheek on the concrete

when they pulled me out.



A memento mori.

[ Chuckles ]






Because I was dead.



Only I rose up again.



Like Lazarus-- Lady Lazarus.

That's me.



You wouldn't do that if you knew.






What was down there.



-Jesus Christ! What's that?

- [ Screams, Chuckles ]






Very intelligent, cows.

Did you know that?






Not a lot of people give them credit.



[ Sylvia ]

What do you think they'd prefer?



Milton or Chaucer?



Chaucer. Obviously.



Ladies, I give you

The Wife of Bath.



[ With Middle English Accent ]




''though noon auctoritee

were in this world,



''were right ynogh for me

to speke of wo that is in mariage.



''For, lordinges,

sith I twelve yeer was of age,



''thonked be God,

that were eterne on live.

Oh, that's beautiful.



[ Chuckles ]

''Housbondes at chirche dore...



I have had five.''



[ Ted's Voice ]

''Twenty-third of August,      .



''We thank you for the manuscript

you submitted recently,



''but we cannot use this at present.



''It is herewith returned

with our compliments.



Yours faithfully--''

blah, blah, blah.



How many today?

[ Sylvia ]




They went straight back out.



And I typed up four more copies

of your manuscript,



so now there are seven in circulation.






Come on. Wake up.



Mmm. What time is it?



It doesn't matter about

the bloody time.

Look at this. Look, look, look.



''Our congratulations that

Hawk in the Rain...



judged winning volume

Poetry Center first prize publica--''

You won!



I've fucking won.

You won.



I've fucking won.

[ Moaning ]



I didn't even know I'd entered.

[ Laughs ]



You know what this means,

don't you?



You're going to be a published poet.




We're going to America?






[ Man ]

Those whom God hath joined together,



let no man put asunder.



Oh, no, Daniel, don't--

Not there, dear.



Put it over there.

That looks much better. Yes.






I'd like to tie this back if I could.





Oh, darling.



Welcome home, my darling.



Oh! God.

Oh, you look beautiful.



Oh, my sweet.

So this is the übermensch?






Pleased to meet you, Mrs. Plath.

Sylvia's told me a lot about you.



Mmm. Well, let's hope

for both our sakes

that some of it's true.



Leave the bags.

I'll have Sam and Daniel get them.

Sam, Daniel.



What do you think?



Still too runny.



About Ted.



He's very--






I don't know.






Why can't you ever

just be pleased for me?

[ Sighs ]



How is he going to support you?



I don't want to be supported.



He's gonna be a great poet.



He just won this poetry prize

that was judged by W.H. Auden.






And I've got money saved up.



And when that runs out?



Mother, I just got this teaching job.



And I could always sell stories

to those stupid magazines.

It doesn't matter.



Darling, you know I've only wanted

what's best for you.



Well, he is the best for me.



Then what do you want me to say?



That you like him.



Do you love him?



I love him.



Then I like him.



[ Man ]

Hey, Bob.




- Oh, Mrs. Bergstrom. Hello.

How are you?

- Sylvia.



It's so lovely to see you.



And you. You're looking beautiful.

Thank you.

This is my husband, Ted.




Pleased to meet you.



We've heard a lot about you.




How are you enjoying yourselves?

Hello. Oh, we're having

such a nice time.




Thank you.



You've made us feel so at home.

Hasn't she?



If I close my eyes,

I could be back in Mytholmroyd.



Your hem's up in the front, darling.




Elizabeth, meet Ted.



Ted, Elizabeth Brooks.

How do you do?



My, aren't you

the catch of the day.

Ted is going to be a great poet.



His last book won--

What was that?



The New York Center Poetry Prize.



It's rather good.

It's the, uh,

Hawk in the Rain.



Really wonderful.

You read it?



Yes. Of course.



What did you think

of the poem about the giraffe?



Oh, listen

to that accent.



There wasn't a poem

about a giraffe.

Say something else.



I need a drink.

Uh, excuse me, ladies.



This Sylvia's father?



Mm-hmm. Yes.

Bumblebees were his specialty.



It's all he ever thought about.



Before the war,

back in Germany,



his colleagues always called him

der Bienenkönig.



That means--

King of the Bees.



Yes, that's right.



That was Otto.

King of the Bees.



You must forgive my friends, Ted.



They, uh, haven't had

the advantages you have.



And what might they be?



Having to fight for what you want.



That's why she's in love

with you, you know.

Sylvia, I mean.



Oh, my God. There were--

Oh, there were--



I don't--

I don't mean to sound disloyal,

but there were...



a lot of other boys,



but they didn't scare her.



She rather frightened them, I think.






You're very different.



But I think you frightened her,

and that's why she likes you.



You think I'd hurt her.

No, I wouldn't hurt her.



Do you know that we found her

right where you're standing?

Right under there, near the boards.



We thought she was dead,

she was so pale, so white.



Some people want to be found.

Sylvia didn't.



She just...



crawled into a hole

and waited to die.



Be good to her.







Hope you like fish.



Wow, look at those.

My God.



Did you have fun?




It finally cooled down.

It was so hot earlier, wasn't it?

You tell me.



I look a bit... messy because

I started baking, and I made--




I made one real cream cake,

but it went a bit funny in the center.



I just decided to throw it out

and start over.



But the funny thing is,

the second one looks nicer than

the first one anyway.



I thought you were gonna write.



Do you know, some husbands

would be happy that their wives...



stayed home

and baked them some nice cakes.



I am happy.

I'd just be happier

if you were writing.



I've got the whole summer to write.



How was your walk?




Got a poem. A good one.






I'm dried up.



That's 'cause you've got nothing to say.



I'm not a real writer.

Never will be.



I'm no good.

You make great cakes.



You know what your trouble is?



I have a husband who thinks

he can tell me how to write poetry?



There's no secret to it.



You've just gotta

pick a subject and...



stick your head into it.



You've got to write.

That's what poets do.



Yes, well, that's easy for you to say.



You go out for a bike ride

and come back with

an epic in hexameters.



I sit down to write,

I get a bake sale.



Do you know what--



Do you know what my trouble is?



Is that I don't have a subject.



The novel, Falcon Yard,

what's that about?



It's... about a girl who meets a boy.



No. What's it really about?

You and me.



What's it really about?






A girl who spends her summer

at the beach?



No, see--

No, that's not really me.



Yes, it is.

You told me it was about you.



What I'm trying to say is

that you've already got your subject.

It's you.



And you keep skirting

round the issue.



- You keep flowering it up. You keep--

- All right, all right, all right.






- Jesus Christ.

- What?



The tide's dragging us out.



I'm not gonna get us back in.



People drown like this.



I tried to drown myself once.



I swam out in the sea

as far as I could,



but it just spat me out like a cork.



I guess it didn't want me.



You know, it's funny,



I was always happy

until I was nine years old.



I was always in one piece.



Then my father died.



''Full fathom five my father lies:



Of his bones were coral made:

Those were pearls that were his eyes.''



[ Sylvia ]

'''Destroy.! Destroy.! Destroy.!'



''hums the underconsciousness.



'''Love and produce.!

Love and produce.!'



''cackles the upper consciousness.



''And the world hears only

the 'love and produce' cackle.



''Refuses to hear the hum

of destruction underneath...



''until such time as it

will have to hear.



''The American has got to destroy!



It is his destiny. ''



And finally, this...



poem by Yeats, I think...






that point rather well.



Well, at least I hope it does.



[ Clears Throat ]

Excuse me.



''The Sorrow of Love.''



''The quarrel of the sparrows in the eaves,



''the full round moon

and the star-laden sky,



''and the loud song

of the ever-singing leaves,



''had hid away earth's old and weary cry.



''And then you came...



''with those red mournful lips,



''and with you came

the whole of the world's tears,



''and all the sorrows ofher laboring ships,



''and all the burden ofher myriad years.



''And now the sparrows warring in the eaves,



''the crumbling moon,

the white stars in the sky,



''and the loud chanting of the unquiet leaves,



are shaken with earth's old and weary cry.''



Thank you.



Thank you.



Thank you very much.

That's very kind. Take care.

I was so impressed.




Yeah. Bye-bye. Thank you.



Mr. Hughes, uh, your voice--



so powerful.



But, uh, what did you think

of the words?



The words?



So when is your next book

coming out?



Well, when I've written it.

[ All Laugh ]



Oh, it must be wonderful

to be married to such a great poet.



Yes, it is. It is.



Would you excuse us

for just a moment?




Excuse me.



I'm sorry. I just--

I'm so exhausted,



and I've got a stack of papers

this high to get through.



Do you mind

if we go now or in a minute?



I'm gonna have to say thanks

to Merwin for that review.



And Len Baskin's here, so I--

Who's Len Baskin?



Len Baskin. He organized all this.

Oh, right. Right.



So-- Look, take the car.



All right.



I'll see you later.






Is Mr. Hughes in?






He said he'd look at my poetry.



He said it would be okay.



I'm sorry if I disturbed you.






Who is she?



She's nobody.



A student. She was...



in that creative writing class I--

I talked to.



She'd written all these poems.

I took pity on her.



- You think I'm fucking her.

- Are you?



Oh, for Christ's sake!



This place is really

getting to you, isn't it?



This bunch of dried up,

malicious old women...



who think their men

are gonna get a taste for fresh meat.



As a matter of fact,

I'm not fucking her.



But if I do start fucking the students,

you'll be the first to know.



Last night--




I was very tired. I--



I've organized everything so I won't--

I won't be quite so tired, um--



I'm sorry.



It's not just you.

It's me as well.



I can't write here.



We should go back to England.



And live on what?



We'll survive, lovely.



Do you see that?

[ Murmurs ]



That's the world.



[ Sylvia ]




on line--line    .



Yes. Page     line    .

[ Knocking On Door ]



There is an ''E''-- Yes.



No, two. Two ''P'''s.

Will you get that?



Uh, page   .



Yes. Next--

Line eight.



''Next the new moon's curve.''



[ Man ]

Oh, those guys are all the same.



I mean, I wouldn't have thought--





I mean, after Hawk in the Rain,

they, uh--




the literary establishment were all hoping

your next book would be an...






But I'm pleased to say you've

confounded them and outdone yourself.



- It's really quite wonderful.

- On the back page.



In the back jacket.



Uh, I've just made some coffee.

Would you like a cup?



Well, I think you can speak

to the agent about that.

All right?



- Hello.

- Hello.



You must be Mr. Alvarez.

Yes, indeed.

And you must be Mrs. Hughes?



''Night Shift''?






''Night Shift.'' It's a poem

you printed in the Observer.



Oh, yes.

''Night Shift.'' Yes.

It was a good poem.



Well, yes, I know. I wrote it.



Oh, you're Sylvia Plath.

I am.



[ Chuckles ]

Oh. Nice to meet you.

And you.



Uh, tell me, have you written

any others or--

Yes, I have.



Actually, I have a, uh,



book of poems coming out

very shortly called The Colossus.



I'd love to read them.

Thank you. It would be an honor.



[ Man ]

I spoke to George about it last week

and, uh, he was quite optimistic.



It might take another six months.



[ Man #  ]

The whole thing,

it's about putting a face to a name.



For them to put, you know,

your name to duh, duh, duh,

and likewise.



I mean, we've got Charlie Hetheringham

here from the T.L.S.



There's Robinson

from the Critical Quarterly.

That one there?



Yeah. And, um, there's, uh,

the Telegraph there and the Times.



And, uh--

Oh,yes,you see that chap with

the big ears?



He's easy. He's from the Listener.



[ Man ]

So, it's a good turnout,you know.



That's a good sign, isn't it,

that they all came?



Well, yes, of course.

I mean, don't get your hopes up too high,

but, yes it is. It really is.



They're all bloody

civil servants moonlighting

as journalists.



It's their job to protect

the status quo.



[ Man ]

That's the toughest.

Mr. Robinson.



Mr. Robinson.



You forgot this.



Oh, uh, thanks.



Do you think

you might be reviewing it?



This? I shouldn't think so.

We just got the new Pasternak.



Then Betjeman's out next week,

and there's an e.e. cummings

in the pipeline.



Not in the same league,

really, is she, this Sylvia--




[ Women Laughing ]



[ Chuckles ]

Poor thing. Can't be easy for her,



being married to that.



Still, good party.



Thank the boss.



This is good.




By Alvarez.

Very good.






''Her poems rest secure

in a mass of experience...



that is never quite brought out

into daylight.''



Then there's a quote, and it says,



''It is this sense of threat,

as though she were

continually menaced...



''by something she could see

only out of the corner of her eye...



that gives her work its distinction.''



What about the rest?



It's a good review.

One review?



But it's a good review.



Look, it's hard.

You know it's gonna be hard.



My first book--

Won prizes.



I'll get it.

[ Crying Continues ]






No, no.

No, no. No problem.



[ Crying Continues ]




Yeah. Oh, no, certainly. Certainly.






Yes. No, no.

That's no problem. I'll--



Good. All right.



Good-bye. Bye.



That was Moira Doolan,

the lady from the BBC I told you about.



I sent her that idea

for the children's radio series.

You remember?




Well, she wants to

have lunch.



I think she's interested.



A bit short notice, isn't it?



I'll see you later.






Yes, is that the BBC?



May I-- May I speak to a Moira Doolan

in children's radio, please?



Do you have any idea

what time she left?



Did you happen to notice

if she left by herself?



Well, have you any idea

if she plans on coming back there

this evening?



I understand. It--

I-- I'm looking for someone

who might have been with her.



His name is Edward Hughes.



My name is Sylvia Plath Hughes, and I--



Don't take that

tone of voice with me.



- What the fuck is going on?

- Where have you been?



What is going on?



I've been sitting here for     hours!

Where have you been?



- I was at a meeting!

- That was     hours ago!



It was a lunch meeting.

It went into dinner!



I called the BBC,

and they said Moira Doolan left!



- She had another meeting!

We met later!

- Fiction really isn't your gift, is it?



- We had dinner!

- Why don't you tell me where you were?



- She's a middle-aged woman.

- Fucking liar!



I love you.



Do you?



[ Ted ]

A month in advance,

that'll do as a deposit.



You've got, uh, a bedroom, kitchen,



uh, another bedroom or a study,

or whatever you want to use it for.



And this is the living room,

which you've seen already.

That's it.



Not much to it, I'm afraid.



No, it's fantastic.



It would be great for David.



Why? What is it that you do?

I'm a poet.



Ah. So are we.






Ted Hughes.

I'll get some wine.



- I'm Sylvia Plath.

- Oh, my God. That's--



I gave Assia a copy

of your book, The Colossus.



That's amazing.



Yes, I love your poems.




They're very beautiful.

They're frightening.




They have this--

this haunting quality.






No, it's just...



that's the best review

I've ever gotten.



[ David Chuckles ]



I'm looking forward

to moving to the country.

Yes, I'm sure.



I think the fresh air

will help with the writing.

You think it will be isolated? Devon, I mean?



You know, you should come down

and spend a weekend with us.

Thank you.



Shouldn't they?

Shouldn't they what?



Come down to Devon

and spend a weekend.

They should.



Get out of the city.

Would be nice.

I'd love to.



Do you want to go higher?









[ Ted ]

I'll get it.









No, I'm fine.



We're both fine.

How are you?



How's David?



Oh, he has?

Oh, that's good.



[ Chuckles ]

No, that would be great,yes.



Well, Saturday's fine.



Yes, yes. Yes.



I'll look forward to it.



Cheerio. Bye-bye. Bye.



That was Assia and David.



They wanna come down this Saturday.

That'll be nice, no?



[ Assia ]

God, it's so inspiring up here.



It's good to see you

and Ted again.



- Here, take my hand. It's muddy.

- Oh, my God. Would you mind?



- There you go.

- Thank you.



Thank you, Ted.

Oh, this country air.



Well, this soup is extraordinary.




Have some more.



- No, I couldn't. Thank you.

- Please. Here, let me help you.



Ah, there's plenty.



[ Assia ]

Oh.Just a little, please.



- There you go.

- Whoops. Thanks. Always loved my food.



Ted says you have

the new Robert Lowell recording.






The new Robert Lowell... recording.

What about it?



Well, perhaps we could

listen to it later?






Thank you. Thank you.



Thank you.



Excuse me.



Do you mind telling me

what's going on?

I see you.



You see what?

Why do you insist on

humiliating me?



Sylvia, nobody's humiliating you.



I mean, why bother?

You do such a bloody

good job of it yourself.



Can I give you a top-up?




Oh, my God. Look at this.

Well,you shouldn't

have gone to all this trouble.



- I'm beginning to think the same thing myself.

- Oh,Jesus Christ.



Thank you.

That's enough for me. Thank you.



[ Ted ]

Thank you.



- You're not eating.

- No, I'm waiting for you.



I shall be very insulted

if you don't eat.



Would you like some?



No, you help yourself.



- [ David ]


- [ Clicks Teeth ]



So, are you managing to write

at all, with the baby?



Me? Oh, no.



No. But Ted is.



And that's really all

that matters, isn't it?



I mean, he's the real poet

in the house.



[ Robert Lowell Over Record Player ]

The sea was still breaking violently

and night had steamed...



into our North Atlantic fleet

when the drowned sailor

clutched the dragnet.



Light flashed from his matted head

and marble feet.



He grappled at the net with the coiled,

hurdling muscles of his thighs.



The corpse was bloodless--

a botch of reds and whites--



I'm gonna do the washing up.

I'll help.



No, I'm fine.

No, I insist.



[ Lowell ]

...on a stranded hulk

heavy with sand.



I'll wash, you dry.




...and heave it seaward

whence it came...



where the heel-headed dogfish barks...



its nose on Ahab's void and forehead...



and the name is blocked

in yellow chalk.



What is going on?



Nothing's going on.



Assia was just telling me

about a dream she'd had.

Can I help with anything?



I'd like you and Assia to leave

first thing in the morning.



It's just that I'm tired.

I'm so tired, and I--



You don't know what I've been through.

I've got two small children.



If you had children of your own,

you would understand.



I'm sorry.



Of course.



When will you be back?



I don't know.



A couple of days, maybe three.



Depends how long it takes.



What number will you be at?

I haven't decided

who I'm gonna stay with yet.



I think people are getting pretty sick

of me sleeping on their floors.



So, I'll probably just

check into a bed-and-breakfast.



You don't have to go,

you know.



Yes, I do.






The truth comes to me.



The truth loves me.






I know who you are.






Get out.



[ Sylvia Thinking ]

This is the light of the mind.



If the moon smiled,

she would resemble you.

Their redness talks to my wound.



[ Thinking Continues ]

She would drag me, cruelly,

being barren.



Thick, red and slipping--



Your nakedness shadows our safety.



Whose is that long white box

on the grove?



They can die, I need feed them nothing.



I sizzled in his blue--



Our cheesecloth gauntlets

neat and sweet--



Bare-handed I hand the combs.

The man in white smiles--



So I can't see what is in there.

Some god got hold of me--



Lightly, through their white swaddlings,

like an awful baby--



A world of bald white days

in a shadeless socket.



I cannot undo myself,

and the train is steaming--



The upflight of the murderess--



''And the villagers never liked you.

They are dancing and stamping on you.



''They always knew it was you.



Daddy, Daddy, you bastard, I'm through.''



It's, uh--



It's what? What is it?



Is it any good?






Oh, God, yes.



That ''Daddy'' poem,

the use of metaphor,



the way it builds at the end...



out of the blackness

into an explosion of fury,



it's just stunning.



I'm thinking of moving back

to London.



I'll send you some more

as soon as I'm settled.



I'd like that.






I know this must

have been hard on you.






Really, I've never been happier.



And I've never written more.

It's as if...



now he's gone, I'm free.



I can finally write.



I wake up between  :   and  :  

'cause that's the worst time,



and I write till dawn.



I really feel like

God is speaking through me.



And now we need

the little purple star.



Go up here.



Put all of them on.



[ Kissing ]

We've got the snowflake.



All right.



Where's he gonna live?

Mm, there.



[ Sighs ]

She looks beautiful.







All right.



I'm very sorry to bother you.




I live upstairs and my lights have gone out.

I've got no hot water.



I've got my children up there and I'm--

There's been a power cut.



The moment you need heat

and light to sustain life itself,



the government cuts the electricity.



[ Chuckles ]




To build the national character.

Now, leave your stove on for heat

and to boil water for washing.



Here's some spare candles,



yeah, and some-- and some matches.



There you are.

Thank you.



You must think

I'm some stupid American bitch.



Oh, no, not at all.

I assumed you were Canadian.



Yes. Well, thank you.




Thank you very much.




[ Ted ]

Hello, sweetheart.

This one's for you.



Happy Christmas, darling.



I didn't just come to see them.

I wanted to see you.



Wanted to see how you are.



I've missed you.

I've missed you all.



Christmas is bloody hard.



Can we-- Can we talk?

Can we sit down?



Are you still fucking her?



[ Thinking ]

I have fallen a long way.



The moon sees nothing of this.



[ Thinking Continues ]

And the message of the yew tree

is blackness--



blackness and silence.



I don't know what else to do.



I can't--



I can't go back to her,

but I love her so much it's--



Do you want another one?




Thank you.



[ Alvarez ]

This one is extraordinary.



And, uh, ''Lady Lazarus, ''

the one about the, uh--



the failed suicides--

the despair,



the overpowering sense of foreboding,

and yet without a trace...



of anger or hysteria...



or any appeal for sympathy.



The-- The wealth of imagery.



Such horrors,



but expressed with, um--



with a coolness,



like a--

like a murderer's confession.




[ Clears Throat ]



have you got a title

for your novel yet?



The Bell Jar.

When's it coming out?



The New Year.



Are you gonna let me read it?



It's a potboiler.



Could you get me an ashtray?






I didn't know you smoked.

I don't.



But I'm starting.



I'm thinking of trying

some new things.



Really? Like what?



I'm thinking of taking a lover.



Oh, how glamorous.



[ Whispering ]

Who is he?



Look, I know how you feel.



No, you don't.

I do.



We have-- We share in common a--



[ Exhales ]




I tried to-- I tried to--






Uh, same as you. Sleeping pills.



I, uh-- I took too many.



Everybody does, don't they?



Sometimes I feel like I'm not... solid.



I'm hollow.






nothing behind my eyes.



I'm a negative of a person.



It's as if I never--



I never thought anything.



I never wrote... anything,

I never felt anything.



All I want is blackness--



blackness and silence.






one thing I do know about death...



is it is not a--



a reunion or a homecoming.



There's-- There's no--



Your life doesn't flash before you and

the missing piece of you clicks into place.



It's just-- There's just fuck all.



There's nothing.



So what do you do when your life...



gets as bad as it can...



and just keeps getting worse?



You just keep going.









You are so beautiful.



And you've--you've

a wonderful mind.



And you are a great--

a great poet.



And you and Ted,



you understand each other

in ways that--



that other people

can only dream about.



So, for God's sakes, don't throw

it all away just because--



I don't want to hear her name.



I was gonna say

just because of an affair.



Are you all right? Come in.



Sit here.



I'm gonna die. I'm gonna die soon.

Who's gonna take care of my babies?



Mrs. Hughes, I don't understand.

What do you mean, you're going to die?



Are you ill?

Have you been ill or--



No, I'm not ill.

I think I really

should call the doctor.



No, no, don't call a doctor.



Don't you know what they do?

They hook you up to the eastern grid

and fill you full of sparks.



Yeah. I'm sorry.



No, I'm sorry.



I'm just so on edge, I--



I'm just so on edge, I--



Oh, God, it's all my fault,

it's all my fault, it's all my fault.



All I could think about is

what would happen if...



somebody took him away from me.



You see, if you fear

something enough,



you can make it happen.



That woman,



I conjured her.



I invented her.

Do you understand?



No, I'm sorry. I don't.



It's just that I'm so tired,

I'm so tired, I'm--



If I could just sleep a little bit,

just a little bit--



I'm just so exhausted.



Perhaps we could get someone

to look after your children.

Oh, my God! I left them upstairs!



No, don't go. I'll go and check,

see if they're all right.

Would you like me to do that?



You stay there.



You're a very nice man.



Mm, no.



You remind me a little of my father.



Yes, hello, Kate. It's Sylvia.



I'm all right. I'm--



I was wondering if I could

come round and see you.



I see. Okay.



Dr. Hawkins, it's Sylvia.




[ Sobs ]



I need help. I--



I don't think I can...






You look... very nice.



You'd better come in.



Would you like a drink?






What do you want, Sylvia?



I wanted to see you.



I thought that you...



might like to see us.



I thought there was

something wrong.



Alvarez said you tried

to make a pass at him.



And I've been told

you've been taking pills.




God, I missed you.

[ Chuckles ]



I almost went mad.



We're not even two people.



Even before we met,

we were just...



these two halves...



walking around with big...



gaping holes in us

shaped like the other person.



And then we found each other

and we were finally a whole.



But then it's as if we couldn't

stand being happy,



so we ripped-- we ripped

ourselves in half again.



In the spring,

we should go back to Devon.



We'll go back to Devon

and it'll just be us...



and the children and our work.



It'll be like this

whole thing never happened.



And the summer and the fall

and this awful winter--



it'll all fade by the time

the leaves come out.



And it'll just seem like some nightmare

that was never real.



You don't love her

like you love me.



You'll never have with her

what you have with me.

You know that.



I know.



Leave her.



I can't.



She's pregnant.



Oh. Everything all right?



Do you have any stamps?



It's silly, I know, but I've got, uh--



I've gotta post some letters

to America tonight and I--



airmail, and I don't have any stamps.



Well, can't you post them

in the morning?



No. No, I've got-- I've got

a nurse coming in the morning.

You see, there's a nurse coming.



And, anyway, I won't

be here in the morning.



Oh, I see.

Yes, I think I've got some.



Here we are.

Thank you.



Stamps. Thanks.



Thank you.



Well, good night.

Good night.



Look, do you want me

to call someone?




[ Chuckles ]



No, I was just having--



I just had the most beautiful... dream.



I love you, sweetheart.



[ Sylvia Narrating ]

The box is locked.

It is dangerous.



There are no windows,

so I can't see what is in there.



There is only a little grid.



No exit.


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