Excerpt Tuesday – “Lady Lazarus” – Sylvia Plath

plath_saints_crop2This was my first attempt at block printing, specifically Linocutting – and it was definitely a learning experience – but a rewarding one. Today’s excerpt is from “Lady Lazarus” by Sylvia Plath: read the whole poem here. All four lady saints are Linocut prints, designed, cut, inked, and hand printed by me.

Guide to Abbreviations (with links to wikipedia, if anyone is curious about what is known or traditionally believed about each saint):

St. Lucy = Saint Lucy

St. Cath = Saint Catherine of the Wheel

St. J.d’Arc = Saint Joan of Arc

St. M. Mag. = Saint Mary Magdalene




  1. Marcy, I love this post! I love the “starkness” of the linocut contrasted with the pink color, paired with those lines. It’s wonderful and you are so talented! 🙂


  2. Are those really your first ever linocuts? Those are pretty impressive. You must be very pleased with how the prints turned out.


    1. Well, there was a very sad “test” block of St. Lucy whereby I learned the importance of not cutting too deeply and the valuable lesson that the image prints as its mirror! There were also repeated trips to the art store (I need an inking plate? a roller? what?). But otherwise – yes! Thank you. I hope to do some more. Cheers, Marcy


      1. You should do more as that’s an incredibly promising start. When I began block-printing again, one of the first new tools I bought was a wedge that goes at the corner of the block so that the wedge and not the Lino itself is held fast. That was because I lodged the cutting blade into the palm of my hand. Ouch. Lesson learned. The good news is that all those tools will last you a long time so are a good investment. And, yes, mirrored text is a pain. I avoid it.


      2. That wedge is a good idea! I had visions of sticking my hand with the blades as I would cut – and could totally see that happening to me. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing your recent linocuts on your blog!. The whale is fantastic!


  3. Gorgeous. I’m not too familiar with linocutting, but it seems like a very stark style – no soft edges. Seems appropriate for the darkness and intensity of those lines of poetry. Love it!


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