80d: Jamie Lee Curtis / James Brown, Ellen Shipley
Dying to be Heard
Anna Louise Ryder.....Jamie Lee Curtis
Diane Pierpont.....Gail Matthius
[ open on title card ]
[ dissolve to talk show set ]
Grace: Welcome to the women's poetry corner, "Dying To Be Heard." As we all know, the list of great women poets who committed suicide is endless. Sylvia Plath, Virginia Wolff, and Martha Mitchell, to name a few.
In this chauvinistic society, a poetess is driven to the extremes of suicide to make her work known. We've chosen just a few of the poems and suicide notes we've received from little-known women poets all around the world. From Des Moines, Iowa, let's talk to Anna Louise Ryder. Anna, are you there?
[ dissolve to Anna sitting on a couch in her home, surrounded by her daughter and husband. Grace appears in a bubble in the upper left corner of the screen. ]
Anna Louise Ryder: [ nervous ] Yes, Grace. I'm.. I'm ready and willing.
Grace: Now, your letter says here that your chosen method of suicide is self-punishment.
Anna Louise Ryder: Yes, Grace. That's right. I will be beating myself to death with the hardcover edition of The Joy of Cooking.
Grace: Well, how inventive. I'm sure you're aware of the rules. Once you've lofted upon the winged chariot that never descends, before our home viewers, I will read your poem, "My Family, My Life," to the world, and your voice will be heard to millions and millions of television viewers. Anna. Are you ready?
Anna Louise Ryder: Y-yes.
Daughter: Mommy.. Mommy, don't do it. Please! I gotta go to school tomorrow!
Husband: Dear, we love you.. isn't there some other way?
Anna Louise Ryder: [ with fury ] Get away! Get away, you never cared about my poems! You never cared about my work! All you ever wanted was dinner!! Don't spoil it for me now!! [ begins to beat herself in the head with the book she's holding ] Aiiiiigggghhhh!! [ srops dead across her daughter's lap ]
Grace: [ without missing a beat ] I would like to read a poem by the late Anna-Louise Ryder. "My Family, My Life":
A curl of black hair
Dark, sinewy arms
And a teeny, weeny, little ding-a-ling.
Fresh as new-mown menure
Yet already set in their ways.
My family, my life
I hate you."
[ Daughter and Husband are stunned by the poem. Daughter shoves Anna off of her lap, and onto the floor with a thud. ]
[ dissolve back to Grace on her set ]
Grace: Anna, we'll always remember you. That was one from the gut. Our second poetess tonight is Diane Pierpont of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Diane, it says here that you plan to strangle yourself with the cord of your Cuisinart. But, before you do, would you like to say a few words about the poem I'm about to read?
[ dissolve to Diane laying across the kitchen table, already strangled dead with her Cuisinart cord. Her arm flops to the side of the table ]
Grace: Diane? Oh, my, it seems that Diane has slabbed out a little ahead of schedule. So, we'll just go right to her poem. It's a short sonnet entitled "Nature":
"A bird pecks the ground
A frog hops in circles
I think I'll kill myself."
That was wonderful, Diane, I know our viewers enjoyed it. Tune in next week, when we'll be presenting a replay of Ms. L. Lansing's dramatic "Drowning in a Bidet." Until then, good night.
[ dissolve to title card; fade ]