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Unfaithful Wife
Posted by: Jean-Paul (
Date: March 24, 2004 09:33AM

I'm moving out
Does anyone know any poems about an unfaithful wife?
The only one I know that comes close are actually the Lyrics from the Led Zeppelin song "Hey, Hey! What Can I Do?"

"I "Love Summer more than I hate Winter"

Re: Unfaithful Wife
Posted by: Talia (
Date: March 24, 2004 11:12AM

Although most parts of this poem appear to be about her father, Plath's husband Ted Hughes was unfaithful and many have nterpreted her anger in this poem to reflect on Hughes. This is the first one that came to my mind, and quite possible not the type of poem you are looking for.

Sylvia Plath


You do not do, you do not do
Any more, black shoe
In which I have lived like a foot
For thirty years, poor and white,
Barely daring to breathe or Achoo.

Daddy, I have had to kill you.
You died before I had time--
Marble-heavy, a bag full of God,
Ghastly statue with one gray toe
Big as a Frisco seal

And a head in the freakish Atlantic
Where it pours bean green over blue
In the waters off beautiful Nauset.
I used to pray to recover you.
Ach, du.

In the German tongue, in the Polish town
Scraped flat by the roller
Of wars, wars, wars.
But the name of the town is common.
My Polack friend

Says there are a dozen or two.
So I never could tell where you
Put your foot, your root,
I never could talk to you.
The tongue stuck in my jaw.

It stuck in a barb wire snare.
Ich, ich, ich, ich,
I could hardly speak.
I thought every German was you.
And the language obscene

An engine, an engine
Chuffing me off like a Jew.
A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen.
I began to talk like a Jew.
I think I may well be a Jew.

The snows of the Tyrol, the clear beer of Vienna
Are not very pure or true.
With my gipsy ancestress and my weird luck
And my Taroc pack and my Taroc pack
I may be a bit of a Jew.

I have always been scared of you,
With your Luftwaffe, your gobbledygoo.
And your neat mustache
And your Aryan eye, bright blue.
Panzer-man, panzer-man, O You--

Not God but a swastika
So black no sky could squeak through.
Every woman adores a Fascist,
The boot in the face, the brute
Brute heart of a brute like you.

You stand at the blackboard, daddy,
In the picture I have of you,
A cleft in your chin instead of your foot
But no less a devil for that, no not
Any less the black man who

Bit my pretty red heart in two.
I was ten when they buried you.
At twenty I tried to die
And get back, back, back to you.
I thought even the bones would do.

But they pulled me out of the sack,
And they stuck me together with glue.
And then I knew what to do.
I made a model of you,
A man in black with a Meinkampf look

And a love of the rack and the screw.
And I said I do, I do.
So daddy, I'm finally through.
The black telephone's off at the root,
The voices just can't worm through.

If I've killed one man, I've killed two--
The vampire who said he was you
And drank my blood for a year,
Seven years, if you want to know.
Daddy, you can lie back now.

There's a stake in your fat black heart
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.

12 October 1962

From The Collected Poems by Sylvia Plath, published by Harper & Row. Copyright © 1981 by the Estate of Sylvia Plath. Used with permission.

Re: Unfaithful Wife
Posted by: Hugh Clary (
Date: March 24, 2004 12:18PM

Not responsive to the question, but perhaps of help anyway:

The False Friends

They laid their hands upon my head,
They stroked my cheek and brow;
And time could heal a hurt, they said,
And time could dim a vow.

And they were pitiful and mild
Who whispered to me then,
"The heart that breaks in April, child,
Will mend in May again."

Oh, many a mended heart they knew.
So old they were, and wise.
And little did they have to do
To come to me with lies!

Who flings me silly talk of May
Shall meet a bitter soul;
For June was nearly spent away
Before my heart was whole.
- Dorothy Parker

Re: Unfaithful Wife
Posted by: Pam Adams (
Date: March 24, 2004 12:59PM

Browning's My Last Duchess implies that the wife was unfaithful.


Re: Unfaithful Wife
Posted by: Marian-NYC (
Date: March 24, 2004 08:27PM

Jean-Paul, moving out calls for MUSIC! Something you can stomp along to!

"Lover's Cross" and "One Less Pair of Footsteps" by Jim Croce
"You're No Good" (written by Clint Ballard, Jr., sung by Linda Ronstadt)
"I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor
"Movin' Out" by Billy Joel
"Another Girl" by the Beatles

That's the kind of thing that will helps you load stuff onto your friend's truck. Poetry can wait.

Re: Unfaithful Wife
Posted by: rikki (
Date: March 24, 2004 10:30PM

yes, definitely MUSIC - with a bit of healthy rage!

The Sweetest Embrace

Our time is done my love
We've laid it all to waste
One thousand moonlit kisses
can't sweeten this bitter taste
My desire for you is endless
and I'll love you 'till we fall
I just don't want you no more -
and that's the sweetest embrace of all

To think we can find happiness
hidden in a kiss
Ah, to think we can find happiness
that's the greatest mistake there is
There is nothing left to cling to babe
There is nothing left to soil
I just don't want you any more
and that's the sweetest embrace of all

So lay your weapons down
they serve no purpose in your hands
And if you wanna hold me
then go ahead and hold me
I won't upset your plans
If it's revenge you want
then take it babe
Or you can walk right out the door
I just don't want you any more
And that's the sweetest embrace of all

Ooohhh where did it begin
When all we did was lose
There's nothin' left to win

It's over babe
And it really is a shame
We are losers you and me babe
In a rigged and crooked game
My desire for you is endless
And I love you most of all
I just don't want you any more -
and that's the sweetest embrace of all

Barry Adamson and Nick Cave
(from the album Oedipus Schmoedipus)

Re: Unfaithful Wife
Posted by: Marian-NYC (
Date: March 25, 2004 02:58PM

And "Already Gone" by the Eagles:

Just remember this my friend
When you look up in the sky
You can see the stars
And still not see the light

And I'm already gone

Re: Unfaithful Wife
Posted by: IanB (
Date: March 27, 2004 08:15AM

Lots of poems about women inconstant in love, but not one that I can immediately recall about an unfaithful wife.

Pam, I don't get that meaning from 'My Last Duchess'. Isn't that poem's point that she was just a good natured innocent who delighted in simple things like flowers and sunsets and smiled at everything and everyone, and as such was murdered by her cold, arrogant and paranoically jealous husband who regarded her undiscriminating warmth and lack of reserve as a slight on himself and his wretched family honour?

Post Edited (03-27-04 17:04)

Re: Unfaithful Wife
Posted by: Jean-Paul (
Date: March 27, 2004 09:49AM

Thanks for the suggestions guys. Please keep them coming
Hugh, that poem does apply. Along with the loss of a wife comes the loss of a friend

"I "Love Summer more than I hate Winter"

Re: Unfaithful Wife
Posted by: IanB (
Date: March 27, 2004 06:06PM

Not expressly on topic, Jean-Paul, but maybe the words are apposite:

'A Farewell'
by A.R.D.Fairburn (New Zealand)

What is there left to be said?
There is nothing we can say,
nothing at all to be done
to undo the time of day;
no words to make the sun
roll east, or raise the dead.

I loved you as I love life:
the hand I stretched out to you
returning like Noah’s dove
brought a new earth to view,
till I was quick with love;
but Time sharpens his knife,

Time smiles and whets his knife,
and something has got to come out
quickly, and be buried deep,
not spoken or thought about
or remembered even in sleep.
You must live, get on with your life.

Re: Unfaithful Wife
Posted by: Jean-Paul (
Date: March 29, 2004 10:17AM

This certainly applies also.
The grieving process involves an acceptance and integrating the accepted facts into your life.
This always involves change and, most likely, "cutting" something out.
The further in time we move away, the less affected we are.....usually.

"I "Love Summer more than I hate Winter"

Re: Unfaithful Wife
Posted by: Pam Adams (
Date: March 29, 2004 02:20PM

There's always this one.


A Channel Passage
by Rupert Brooke

The damned ship lurched and slithered. Quiet and quick
My cold gorge rose; the long sea rolled; I knew
I must think hard of something, or be sick;
And could think hard of only one thing -- YOU!
You, you alone could hold my fancy ever!
And with you memories come, sharp pain, and dole.
Now there's a choice -- heartache or tortured liver!
A sea-sick body, or a you-sick soul!

Do I forget you? Retchings twist and tie me,
Old meat, good meals, brown gobbets, up I throw.
Do I remember? Acrid return and slimy,
The sobs and slobber of a last years woe.
And still the sick ship rolls. 'Tis hard, I tell ye,
To choose 'twixt love and nausea, heart and belly.

Re: Unfaithful Wife
Posted by: roberto (
Date: March 29, 2004 04:24PM

no no

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