Parisianne Modert: A story that is in the past, present and future, tense!

The Lamb’s Pub in London. Don’t let the black sheep in your family pull the wool over your eyes!



Parisianne Modert (rhymes with Cobert Repor) is new to our site, and her entry into our contest Wing Nuts is based on a writer I am unfamiliar with, but that’s why there is Wikipedia.

Slyvia Plath, aka Mrs. Ted Hughes, was a poet married to a fellow poet, and he done her wrong. He fell in love with another poet’s wife, of which he wrote:

“The dreamer in her
Had fallen in love with me and she did not know it.
That moment the dreamer in me
Fell in love with her and I knew it,”

Parisianne commiserates  with Sylvia in her story,

The Lamb under the Bell Jar


Parisianne Modert

The I’ll just have to wing it time machine whisked me onto Lamb’s Conduit Street within the West End of London.  The Lamb Pub of 1720 birth and forlorn Victorian draping compelled me inside.

“Top shelf vodka, glass, no ice, leave the bottle.”

Sylvia Plath’s eyes turned up to mine, sad, blank, troubled, beautiful.

“Mrs. Hughes, may I…”


“Novelist, barren without agenda.”

“I despise drinking alone.  Sit.  You are?”

“Madame Parisianne.”



“I hate this day, Madame.”

“You met your husband six years ago.”

“I hate hollow anniversaries.”

“He forgot?”

“Always.  Your story?”

“I’m from 2038.”

“Why visit me?  Dickens’s ghost sits over there.”

“Your poems and life fascinate me.”

“My family lives in Devon.”

“Never disturb a writer and mother at work.”

“Read my work?”

“All of it.  Why drink here?”

“Ted is fucking another poet’s woman.”

“You will write about it.”


“Your memoirs. You’re writing ‘The Bell Jar’ now.”

“I believe you Parisianne.  My husband loves Assia instead of me.  She captured him like prey to be toyed with.  Pretty woman without a soul draw pleasure from cruelty.  Men, even poets are fools.”

“In your future…”

“Don’t you dare tell me about my suffering, an ink blot spreading until drying to rot in death.”

“Listen, please.”

“No madam!  Here is the graveyard of a sad woman nearing a spring without flowers blooming.  Her heart ripped from its’ chest like a baby from my womb.”

We drank in silence.


(It didn’t end well…)

So please welcome our new-bee with your comments, invite others to both comment and enter the contest, which closes June 10th.

details here:


16 thoughts on “Parisianne Modert: A story that is in the past, present and future, tense!

  1. 1948pdobbs says:

    Welcome, you have joined us with a sad, powerful story. Some of the writers on this site are more into time travel, out of space stories than I. But your ending brought tears to my eyes.
    So happy to have you among us.
    Blessings, pd

    • Parisianne Modert says:

      Thank you for reading my entry. I used the time machine to get the required phrase in and to meet Sylvia adult to adult. The date I wrote about was February 25th, 1962, less than one year before she committed suicide on the early morning of February 11th, 1963 by oven gassing. I used a future date to justify the existence of an early model of a working time machine. At 86 years of age, I assumed this near 30 year old woman would allow me to sit with her.

  2. Michael Stang says:

    With paces like this, Parisianne, you might as well hang up your hat and coat and close the door. I am sure we can find some vodka somewhere between the California wine. Time-stretched interviews are hard to come by but you have delivered wonderfully. A talent such as yourself: journalistic, driven, to the point in a story telling way-yeah, have a seat.

        • Parisianne Modert says:

          Not a problem Michael. My current doctor and the previous one have me on a beta blocker to slow my heart down, because of high blood pressure from being such a wild, wicked woman (all kind of true statements). If I could drink, I would prefer a California Cabernet Sauvignon if a French wine isn’t available, 30 year old Johnny Walker Blue or a dry white wine if fish is served. So now I am reduced to Perrier Grapefruit. That’s life.

  3. Diane Cresswell says:

    Succinct, hard, a battle between telling all or nothing, time machine excluded – a conversation between two women that would fit easily in the past, present and future which you did so wonderfully. Parisianne you belong here with the rest of us. Do – do – do contribute more. You have a way with words…

    • Parisianne Modert says:

      Thank you for reading my entry and the word “succinct” which normally I am far from worthy of. In 1953 Sylvia did not complete a suicide attempt from sleeping pills. The subtext of wanting to meet Sylvia Plath on February 25th, 1962 was a desire to change her personal tragedy of suicide by gas oven on February 11th, 1963 many months after a phone call from Assia (July 1962) that confirmed Sylvia’s worse suspicions. Other suicides followed in time as a result. Assia committed suicide with sleeping pills and gas from an oven in 1969 taking her daughter by Ted Hughes with her after a fight with him over the phone. Sylvia’s son, just over one year of age, at the time of Sylvia’s suicide later took his own life as an adult. The loss of both human life and literature that never got written for the ages sadly can not be altered.

      The Lamb is an actual famous pub which both Sylvia Plath and Charles Dickens did frequent within their respective days.

    • Parisianne Modert says:

      Thank you for your careful readings of what I have submitted and your generous compliment that I doubt I am worthy of. I like to say that the devil appears during the edit with elegant words, lyrical phrases, insights and treasures being delegated to a hell they never deserved . Sylvia talked about not being able to include any toothbrush in her poetry. A toothbrush is so necessary, yet unworkable in a restricted space. There is so much I wanted to include that had to be ripped from my first draft which was three times longer. I learned a lot, but worry that I missed on not implying subtext better than I did. Now that is a true art form. As a writer, who adores poetry, I know that I am not worthy to kiss the ground she once walked upon. I truly wish, if I live long enough to take advantage of the seemingly impossible time machine, I might be able to save her life. Assia, six years later took her own life as well as her daughter’s in a similar fashion as Sylvia did. Sylvia son took his own life in 2009. There is an interconnectiveness, whose stain, gulit and pain, much as Lady MacBeth’s, will never go away. Such a tragedy deserves a better telling than I gave it.

  4. TiMo says:

    This pulled me in and did not let me go until the bittersweet end. A good read. I appreciate its seriousness. It’s kinda like a song, or the story behind a tone poem.

    • Parisianne Modert says:

      Thank you for reading my entry. The dialogue is abrupt like a rapid paced metronome with a mechanical flaw which was unfortunate I thought. The piece is supposed to be an introduction, pleading for self-clemency, confession offered, rejection and silence which in the entry represents an acceptance of my defeat to alter her history. Sylvia wrote poems about the sweetness of death and a type of communion with the Earth where she would soon lay in an ancient churchyard. Thus the bitter part would mean her failing marriage due to betrayal with withdrawings and the sweet part would refer to Sylvia’s peace from her torments since childhood. She attempted suicide in 1953 before meeting Ted Hughes in 1956. She considered him her salvation, her confident and partner for the spiritual journey to the inner world that other poets of the past had avoided. At the point of the story she was suspicious of him falling in love with Assia, but Assia’s phone call to her later in July of 1962 sealed her decay to suicide on February 11, 1963. She loved being a mother to a three year old daughter and a one year old son, but her demons and her loss of her husband to Assia was too much for her to bear.

  5. Parisianne Modert says:

    I suddenly realized that the story above is not in the present at all. It takes place starting in the year 2038 with my being 86 years old with the rest being on February 25, 1962 when the other me was across the pond in Southern Illinois at the age of 9. So the difference in the two bodies (I won’t go there, because – ooow! and too easy a laugh) 77 years apart and over 4,000 miles away is in the past as far as 2013 and 2038 is concerned. To anyone who failed to research my places and times, I will say that I should have chosen July 1962 and not February 1962. On February 24th Sivvy as signed her letters to her mother wrote about being at home with her babies and enjoying time with them in the garden. She actually seemed happy and there is nothing to suggest that Ted has been found out yet. So I am gulity of artistic license without a license. Next time, I’ll do better research I promise. The only part I did get right since time travel is considered impossible is the date on which Ted Hughes first met Sylvia Plath which was February 25, 1956. My apologies.

  6. Parisianne Modert says:

    Reading key letters and journal entries, I realize how important research is when one mucks with history. Sivvy’s mother arrives from the US in June 1962 to spend time with her daughter, Ted Hughes and her grandchildren. Nicola, Sivvy’s baby boy, is less than six months old. There is happiness within the family it seems and the need for letters home stops. In contrast, the next letter is in August after Sylvia Plath has learned of her husband’s love for Assia from Assia herself. His transition to Assia has been exposed. The mother writes an entry of Nicola being the only one who wasn’t soleum at the train station upon departure back to the US. It would be the last time Sivvy’s mother would see her daugther alive. Her Sivvy’s world had fallen apart. Despite brave appearances and staying active with her children along with interviews that are available from BBC, her life would not endure her oncoming, final depression.

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