6/11/15

Sylvia Plath and Mille-Feuille


Mille-fuille. As layered, delicate, and confusing as a Sylvia Plath poem. 

Now poetry has never been a forte of mine, try as I might. I consider myself a very distant admirer. I love to hear the words, and I love how they flow down the page, but for some reason I've never been particular good at grasping their structure, their meaning, what makes them great and awful at the same time. Plath's novel The Bell Jar, spoke to me intimately, but whenever I try to dive into Ariel, I'm left baffled, but utterly satisfied.

Mille-feuille is my food equivalent. 
I had it recently in a small patisserie in Greenwich, by which I mean, I hunted it down because I wanted one so badly. Sometimes, the mood strikes like that.
A precarious tower of puff pastry and creme patissiere, Mille-feuille is a feat of pastry engineering. Try as I might, I am stumped at how to tuck into it. As soon I crack into the top or sides, gobs of pastry cream ooze out in an almost mocking and unapologetic way. As tricky as it is to eat, I still crave it so much, that I'm willing to embarrass myself in public by trying to balance each flakey layer onto my fork and into my mouth. 
Of course Bon Appetit, as usual, has read my mind, and got the full scoop on the classic French pastry from one of the best pastry chefs in the world. They, too, seem to appreciate the subtle majesty and absurdity that is the mille-feuille. But apart from its varied history, apparent trendiness, and all around deliciousness, I consider it a great example of something you just enjoy, and hope to understand in time. 

I can't pronounce you, but damn it if I don't I respect you. 

The Couriers 

The word of a snail on the plate of a leaf?
It is not mine. Do not accept it.

Acetic acid in a sealed tin?
Do not accept it. It is not genuine.

A ring of gold with the sun in it?
Lies. Lies and a grief.

Frost on a leaf, the immaculate
Cauldron, talking and crackling

All to itself on the top of each
Of nine black Alps.

A disturbance in mirrors,
The sea shattering its grey one ----


Love, love, my season.


Sylvia Plath

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