1. The sphinx is generally depicted as a Fury-like creature with a woman’s head, a lion’s body and bat’s wings. In Greek iconography, she often appeared on Athena’s shield or helmet, so the sword she bears is also the Sword of Justice.

2. The English usage of ‘Juggernaut’ is said to derive from the great wooden Chariot (actually called ‘Nandighosh’) on which the carved image of Lord Jagannath is pulled through the town of Puri (in the Indian State of Orissa) during the annual Festival of Chariots (Ratha Yatra). Nandigosh is an immensely heavy wooden cart about ten metres tall and with sixteen huge wooden wheels. Great crowds attend this festival and, at one time, frenzied worshippers of Lord Jagannath would throw themselves under the wheels of Nandigosh, symbolically and literally sacrificing themselves to the unstoppable powers of the Deity. More information about Lord Jagannath, including the story of his relationship to Lord Krishna can be found at Sri Jaganath.

3. Marianne Moore (1887-1972). Her Collected Poems (1951) won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award (1952) and the Bollinger Prize (1953). Sylvia bought a copy and read it before meeting her at Mt. Holyoak College, where Miss Moore was one of the judges of the Glascock Poetry Competition. Sylvia, along with six other finalists, read her poems before the judges and she won the competition. (SPLH 16 April 1955).

4. Sylvia wrote to her brother, Warren, that she found Marianne Moore’s syllabic form “satisfactorily strict” because it had the “speaking illusion of freedom”. She also noted that a pattern which varied the number of syllables in each line “(… can be set up, as M. Moore does it)” (SPLH 11 June 1958).

5. Marianne Moore’s poetry was admired for its sharp, disciplined, highly intelligent and unusual style but some found it too coolly rational. She was renowned, too, for rewriting and republishing her old poems. Her last published version of ‘Poetry’ reduced it from thirty-eight lines to four.

6. The “wire” with which she embroiders is made of “phosphor-bronze”, which is an amalgam. It is stiff and brittle and easily broken – far removed from the soft, malleability and beauty of gold thread.

7. Moore, ‘Poetry’, The Penguin Book of American Verse, Penguin, 1977, p. 345.

8. Sylvia had also sent Marianne Moore a copy of ‘Moonrise’ (SPCP 98).

9. Dante, The Inferno, Canto V and Canto VI.

10. ‘Ocean 1212-W’ (JPBD 117 - 124). In his Introduction to Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams, Ted describes this is one of three “journalistic pieces” “written during the time of the Ariel poems”. But he makes it clear that Sylvia’s reputation “rests on the poems of her last six months”, not on her prose.

11. Ted’s own complex and detailed discussion of the use of ritual drama is found throughout Shakespeare and the Goddess of Complete Being but, especially, in ‘Two Kinds of Ritual Drama’ (SGCB 105 - 108). The ritual drama of ‘Setebos’ is of the second, “manipulative” kind.

12. In Shakespeare and the Goddess of Complete Being, Ted writes that in mystical tradition, “In general, beheading means to be reborn with a new, other, consciousness” (SGCB 395).

13. Just as Prospero and Ariel set their spirit hounds on Caliban, Trinculo and Stephano in Act IV, Scene 1 of The Tempest.

14. This phrase is taken from a modern travel brochure.

15. The efforts of these thousands of labourers were recognized by UNESCO in 1987, when Brasilia was declared a ‘Heritage of Mankind’.

16. In a “Diary Supplement” quoted by Aurelia Plath, Sylvia wrote: “Never, never, never will I reach the perfection I long for with all my soul”. (SPLH 40).

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