Anna Królikiewicz – Super / Natural

Sylvia Plath



Overnight, very

Whitely, discreetly,

Very quietly


Our toes, our noses,

Take hold on the loam,

Acquire the air.


Nobody sees us,

Stops us, betrays us;

The small grains make room.


Soft fists insist on

Heaving the needles,

The leafy bedding,


Even the paving.

Our hammers, our rams,

Earless and eyeless,


Perfectly voiceless,

Widen the crannies,

Shoulder through holes. We


Diet on water,

On crumbs of shadow,

Bland-mannered, asking


Little or nothing.

So many of us!

So many of us!


We are shelves, we are

Tables, we are meek,

We are edible,


Nudgers and shovers

In spite of ourselves.

Our kind multiplies:


We shall by morning

Inherit the earth.

Our foot’s in the door.


from “The Colossus and Other Poems”, 1960

The title on the one hand refers to something that is ‘out of this world’, and points at estrangement – a new, unexpected and extraordinary element in the familiar and repeatedly visited spot in the Old Town; on the other, as two separate words, it points at the natural origin, that is something real, autogenous and wild. For this is what the kingdom of mushrooms is like: unbeatable when it comes to methods of propagation, feeding and breathing.

Behind the metaphor, Sylvia Plath has hidden her subtle yet firm feminist manifesto; she gives the floor to those who despite oppression, invisible, silently and persistently build up the revolution, to finally recover their suppressed voice and territories. Populations represented by the mushrooms will accumulate energy “underground” and they will raise their heads: they will rule the world, they will regain their power.

This personification is much more meaningful: mushroom DNA is the closest to humans. Mushrooms growing in between architectural forms are a vital super-organism. They are life, a biological form actively overgrowing their medium governed by the not thoroughly comprehended mechanism of mycelium formation, producing unexpected forms beyond the control of the artist.