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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

On Her Husband

One year ago today, I was engaged in reading a book by Anne Sexton author Diane Middlebrook. I got this "used" book for free from a USO (United Service Organization) lounge/center at Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington, DC. Thanks a lot, USO!

Why were you there last year, you ask? You know, if you're an active duty member of the U.S. armed forces or a veteran or retired from the military, you and your immediate family members have that so-called "privilege" to utilize the services of any USO office/center in any airport around the world (for as long as they have one). My wife and I were hanging out there for a couple of hours awaiting for the late (delayed) arrival of our daughter from Beijing, China, where she and her fellow college students chose to spend their two weeks' Christmas-New Year holiday break in connection with her school's "J-Term Study Abroad  Program." I learned that they earn three college credits, after fulfilling the requirements at the end of the J(anuary)-Term. They did community service to a school there, teaching English to Chinese elementary students, in addition to sight-seeing, visiting tourist spots there.

(By the way, from Wikipedia, here's some information FYI about USO (United Service Organizations Inc.). It is a private, nonprofit organization that provides morale and recreational services to members of the U.S. military, with programs in 160 centers worldwide. Since 1941, USO has worked in partnership with the Department of Defense (DOD), and has provided support and entertainment to U.S. armed forces, relying heavily on private contributions/donations and on funds, goods, and services from DOD. Although congressionally-chartered, it is not a government agency. During World War II, the USO became the G.I.'s "home away from home" and began a tradition of entertaining the troops that continues today. For more information, visit

Of the so many free books, reading materials available for grabs at that USO center, I chose Her Husband. I don't know why but, at that time, I got interested to learn about Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes, both literati. I've heard of them before but didn't pay much attention about them. Not until I got the book in my possession. And I read it last year. Out of it, came out this poem I wrote 26Jan2011 (Wednesday), from my binder-journal...

Reading Her Husband

in all honesty
I will not be Ted Hughes
poet deserter-philanderer
though I can be
if I want to be
Sylvia Plath---you won victory
with lots of your  poetry
but your independence-freedom he lost
the opportunity he meant to be
on top of everybody
in the literary world.

i sympathized with Sylvia
(God bless her; may she rest in peace)
though I'm a man
with a budding mind-pen
on simple-ordinary poetry
but I will never be Ted Hughes
not at all
that's all.

reading Her Husband
(Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath: A Marriage)
by Anne Sexton author Diane Middlebrook, 2003
which I got from USO
at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
I learned this conviction
I will not be Ted Hughes
for I have sympathy
with Sylvia Plath, the poet.
(c) chris a.quilpa

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