Sylvia Plath (October 27, 1932 - February 11, 1963)
Born: 27th October, 1932
Died: 11th February, 1963
Nationality: American
Profession/Occupation: Poet
Region: Boston, Massachusetts, London, England
Notable works: "The Bell Jar", "Ariel", "Daddy", "Winter Trees", "Lady Lazarus", "Crossing the Water", "The Collected Poems", "Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams", "Three Women", "The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath"

Sylvia Plath Facts

Biography

Sylvia Plath, pseudonym Victoria Lucas, (born October 27, 1932, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.--died February 11, 1963, London, England), American poet whose best-known works, such as the poems "Daddy" and "Lady Lazarus" and the novel The Bell Jar, starkly express a sense of alienation and self-destruction closely tied to her personal experiences and, by extension, the situation of women in mid-20th-century America.

Plath published her first poem at age eight. She entered and won many literary contests, and, while still in high school, she sold her first poem to The Christian Science Monitor and her first short story to Seventeen magazine. She entered Smith College on a scholarship in 1951 and was a cowinner of the Mademoiselle magazine fiction contest in 1952. At Smith Plath achieved considerable artistic, academic, and social success, but she also suffered from severe depression, attempted suicide, and underwent a period of psychiatric hospitalization. She graduated from Smith with highest honours in 1955 and went on to Newnham College in Cambridge, England, on a Fulbright fellowship. In 1956 she married the English poet Ted Hughes; they had two children. The couple separated in 1962, after Hughes's affair with another woman.

During 1957-58 Plath was an instructor in English at Smith College. In 1960, shortly after she returned to England with Hughes, her first collection of poems appeared as The Colossus, which received good reviews. Her novel, The Bell Jar, was published in London in 1963 under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas. Strongly autobiographical, the book describes the mental breakdown and eventual recovery of a young college girl and parallels Plath's own breakdown and hospitalization in 1953.

During her last three years Plath abandoned the restraints and conventions that had bound much of her early work. She wrote with great speed, producing poems of stark self-revelation and confession. The anxiety, confusion, and doubt that haunted her were transmuted into verses of great power and pathos borne on flashes of incisive wit. Her poem "Daddy" and several others explore her conflicted relationship with her father, Otto Plath, who died when she was age eight. In 1963, after this burst of productivity, she took her own life.

Ariel (1965)--a collection of Plath's later poems that included "Daddy" and another of her well-known poems, "Lady Lazarus" --sparked the growth of a much broader following of devoted and enthusiastic readers than she had during her lifetime. Ariel received a review in The New York Times that praised its "relentless honesty," "sophistication of the use of rhyme," and "bitter force," and Poetry magazine noted "a pervasive impatience, a positive urgency to the poems." Plath quickly became one of the most popular American poets. The appearance of small collections of previously unpublished poems, including Crossing the Water (1971) and Winter Trees (1971), was welcomed by critics and the public alike. The Bell Jar was reissued in Great Britain under her own name in 1966, and it was published in the United States for the first time in 1971. Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams, a book of short stories and prose, was published in 1977.

The Collected Poems, which includes many previously unpublished poems, appeared in 1981 and received the 1982 Pulitzer Prize for poetry, making Plath the first to receive the honour posthumously. A book for children that she had written in 1959, The It-Doesn't-Matter Suit, was published in 1996. Interest in Plath and her works continued into the 21st century. She had kept a journal for much of her life, and in 2000 The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, covering the years from 1950 to 1962, was published. A biographical film of Plath starring Gwyneth Paltrow (Sylvia) appeared in 2003. In 2009 Plath's radio play Three Women (1962) was staged professionally for the first time. A volume of Plath's letters, written in 1940-56, was published in 2017. A second collection--which contained her later letters, including a number of candid notes to her psychiatrist--appeared the following year. In 2019 the story Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom, written in 1952, was published for the first time.

Many of Plath's posthumous publications were compiled by Hughes, who became the executor of her estate. However, controversy surrounded both the estate's management of her work's copyright and his editing practices, especially when he revealed that he had destroyed the last journals written prior to her suicide.

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Top 83 Sylvia Plath quotes

Every woman adores a Fascist.
Adore
Every
Fascist
Woman
I took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart. I am. I am. I am.
Am
Breath
Deep
Deep breath
Heart
I am
Listened
Old
Took
There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them.
Bath
Cure
Few
Few things
Hot
Know
Many
Must
Quite
Them
Things
And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.
About
Creativity
Enemy
Everything
Guts
Imagination
Improvise
Life
Outgoing
Self-doubt
Way
Worst
You
I talk to God but the sky is empty.
Empty
God
Sky
Talk
Apparently, the most difficult feat for a Cambridge male is to accept a woman not merely as feeling, not merely as thinking, but as managing a complex, vital interweaving of both.
Accept
Apparently
Both
Cambridge
Complex
Difficult
Feat
Feeling
Male
Managing
Merely
Most
Thinking
Vital
Dying is an art, like everything else. I do it exceptionally well. I do it so it feels like hell. I do it so it feels real. I guess you could say I've a call.
Art
Call
Could
Dying
Else
Everything
Everything else
Exceptionally
Feels
Guess
Hell
Like
Real
Say
Is there no way out of the mind?
Mind
Out
Way
If neurotic is wanting two mutually exclusive things at one and the same time, then I'm neurotic as hell. I'll be flying back and forth between one mutually exclusive thing and another for the rest of my days.
Another
Back
Between
Days
Exclusive
Flying
Forth
Hell
Mutually
Mutually exclusive
Neurotic
Rest
Same
Same time
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead; I lift my eyes and all is born again.
Again
All the world
Born
Born-again
Dead
Drops
Eyes
Lift
Shut
World
The blood jet is poetry and there is no stopping it.
Blood
Jet
Poetry
Stopping
How frail the human heart must be - a mirrored pool of thought.
Frail
Heart
How
Human
Human heart
Must
Pool
Thought
Widow. The word consumes itself.
Consumes
Itself
Widow
Word
Kiss me and you will see how important I am.
Am
How
I am
Important
Kiss
Me
See
Will
You
Nothing stinks like a pile of unpublished writing.
Like
Nothing
Pile
Stinks
Writing
Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.
Because
Close
Dangerously
Everything
Find
Nothing
Ourselves
Perhaps
Wanting
But life is long. And it is the long run that balances the short flare of interest and passion.
Balances
Interest
Life
Long
Long run
Passion
Run
Short
I am too pure for you or anyone.
Am
Anyone
I am
Pure
Too
You
Poetry, I feel, is a tyrannical discipline. You've got to go so far so fast in such a small space; you've got to burn away all the peripherals.
Away
Burn
Far
Fast
Feel
Go
Got
I feel
Poetry
Small
Space
Tyrannical
You
I think my poems immediately come out of the sensuous and emotional experiences I have.
Come
Emotional
Emotional experiences
Experiences
I think
Immediately
Out
Poems
Think
One should be able to control and manipulate experiences with an informed and intelligent mind.
Able
Control
Experiences
Informed
Intelligent
Manipulate
Mind
Should
I've begun to think like a Jew, to feel like a Jew.
Begun
Feel
Jew
Like
Think
How we need another soul to cling to.
Another
Cling
How
Need
Soul
Wear your heart on your skin in this life.
Heart
Life
Skin
Wear
Your
Perfection is terrible; it cannot have children.
Cannot
Children
Perfection
Terrible
If you expect nothing from anybody, you're never disappointed.
Anybody
Disappointed
Expect
Never
Nothing
You
I have a visual imagination.
Imagination
Visual
When you are insane, you are busy being insane - all the time.
Being
Busy
Insane
Time
You
What I want back is what I was.
Back
Want
Poetry at its best can do you a lot of harm.
Best
Harm
Lot
Poetry
You
What a man is is an arrow into the future, and what a woman is is the place the arrow shoots off from.
Arrow
Future
Man
Off
Place
Shoots
Woman
I am a victim of introspection.
Am
I am
Introspection
Victim
If I have not the power to put myself in the place of other people, but must be continually burrowing inward, I shall never be the magnanimous creative person I wish to be. Yet I am hypnotized by the workings of the individual, alone, and am continually using myself as a specimen.
Alone
Am
Continually
Creative
Creative person
I am
I wish
Individual
Inward
Magnanimous
Must
Myself
Never
Other
I have the choice of being constantly active and happy or introspectively passive and sad.
Active
Being
Choice
Constantly
Happy
Passive
Sad
It is as if my life were magically run by two electric currents: joyous positive and despairing negative - whichever is running at the moment dominates my life, floods it.
Currents
Despairing
Electric
Floods
Joyous
Life
Moment
My life
Negative
Positive
Run
Running
Two
Were
I want Books and Babies and Beef stews.
Babies
Beef
Books
Want
When I was learning to creep, my mother set me down on the beach to see what I thought of it. I crawled straight for the coming wave and was just through the wall of green when she caught my heels.
Beach
Caught
Coming
Creep
Down
Green
Heels
Just
Learning
Me
Mother
See
Set
She
Mother believed that I should have an enormous amount of sleep, and so I was never really tired when I went to bed. This was the best time of day, when I could lie in the vague twilight, drifting off to sleep, making up dreams inside my head the way they should go.
Amount
Bed
Believed
Best
Best time
Could
Day
Dreams
Drifting
Enormous
Go
Head
Inside
Lie
That is how it stiffens, my vision of that seaside childhood. My father died; we moved inland. Whereon those nine first years of my life sealed themselves off like a ship in a bottle - beautiful, inaccessible, obsolete: a fine, white, flying myth.
Beautiful
Bottle
Childhood
Died
Father
Fine
First
Flying
How
Inaccessible
Life
Like
Moved
My life
Everybody had to go to some college or other. A business college, a junior college, a state college, a secretarial college, an Ivy League college, a pig farmer's college. The book first, then the work.
Book
Business
College
Everybody
Farmer
First
Go
Had
Ivy
Ivy league
Junior
Junior college
League
Other
Excellent teachers showered on to us like meteors: Biology teachers holding up human brains, English teachers inspiring us with a personal ideological fierceness about Tolstoy and Plato, Art teachers leading us through the slums of Boston, then back to the easel to hurl public school gouache with social awareness and fury.
About
Art
Awareness
Back
Biology
Boston
Brains
English
Excellent
Fury
Holding
Human
Ideological
Inspiring
Today is the first of August. It is hot, steamy and wet. It is raining. I am tempted to write a poem. But I remember what it said on one rejection slip: 'After a heavy rainfall, poems titled 'Rain' pour in from across the nation.'
Across
After
Am
August
First
Heavy
Hot
I am
I remember
Nation
Poem
Poems
Pour
Rain
I love people. Everybody. I love them, I think, as a stamp collector loves his collection. Every story, every incident, every bit of conversation is raw material for me.
Bit
Collection
Collector
Conversation
Every
Everybody
His
I love
I think
Incident
Love
Loves
Material
Me
A little thing, like children putting flowers in my hair, can fill up the widening cracks in my self-assurance like soothing lanolin.
Children
Cracks
Fill
Flowers
Hair
Like
Little
Little thing
Putting
Soothing
Thing
Up
Widening
There is so much hurt in this game of searching for a mate, of testing, trying. And you realize suddenly that you forgot it was a game, and turn away in tears.
Away
Forgot
Game
Hurt
Mate
Much
Realize
Searching
Suddenly
Tears
Testing
Trying
Turn
You
I pass by people, grazing them on the edges, and it bothers me. I've got to admire someone to really like them deeply - to value them as friends.
Admire
Bothers
Deeply
Edges
Friends
Got
Like
Me
Pass
People
Really
Someone
Them
Value
I want to live and feel all the shades, tones, and variations of mental and physical experience possible in my life. And I am horribly limited.
Am
Experience
Feel
Horribly
I am
Life
Limited
Live
Mental
My life
Physical
Possible
Shades
Tones
I don't believe that the meek will inherit the earth; The meek get ignored and trampled.
Believe
Earth
Get
Ignored
Inherit
Meek
Trampled
Will
Freedom is not of use to those who do not know how to employ it.
Employ
Freedom
How
Know
Those
Use
Who
Indecision and reveries are the anesthetics of constructive action.
Action
Constructive
Indecision
Reverie

Sylvia Plath essays

Read more informative topics on our blog
Analysis of Daddy by simply Sylvia Plath Essay
Analysis of Daddy simply by Sylvia PlathSylvia Plath uses her poem, Dad, to express profound emotions toward her father's life and death. With passionate articulation, she verbally turns more than her feelings of craze, abandonment, misunderstandings and grief. Though this work is definitely fraught with ambiguity, a reader can easily infer Plath's basic story. Her daddy was seemingly a Fascista soldier slain in World Battle II while she was young. Her statements regarding not knowing possibly remotely where he was while he was in battle, the only photograph she gets left of him..
Sylvia Plath
Sylvia PlathSylvia Plath is a writer whose lifestyle has produced much interest. Thismight be because of her tragic, unforeseen death and her highly personalarticles. Studying Sylvia^s life enables her readers understand her worksbetter. Many of the imagery and attitudes in her poetry derive fromher life experiences. Through her short life, Sylvia Plath lovedthe sea. The lady spent her childhood years on the Atlantic coast simply northof Boston. This kind of setting offers a source for several her poeticideas. Sylvia Plath came to be in Boston, Massachusetts, about October 281932. Her..
Dissertation on A Women's Struggle
A Woman's struggle ResearchThe problem of man dominancy and female oppression has moved throughout time and cultures like a pandemic contamination, targeting girls. Sylvia Plath's "Daddy" and Janice Mirikitani's "Suicide Note, " demonstrate struggle and pain that oppressive makes perpetrated on women. Even though, both loudspeakers are oppressed the way they end the oppression and the reason for it are incredibly different. Patriarchy has often existed, and it affects women around the globe. For example , restricted bride abductions in Central..
Spinster Essay
In the composition "Spinster" by simply Sylvia Plath, a girl and her lover take a walk throughout the woods over a spring working day. As they are going for walks, the enthusiast attempts to generate romantic signals towards the woman, which frightens her. The girl's physical withdrawal by spring and her act of embracing winter can be described as metaphor on her fear of appreciate and longing for the predictability and control that is not seen in love.During their walk through the forest, the corruption that the young lady feels emphasizes the girl's discomfort in embracing..
The Presentation Of Relationships In Poems Essay
Review a selection of poems you have enjoyed studying, describing what captures your interests about the presentation of relationships. Poets often come up with things they have strong feelings for, including points of look at and essential moments in their, or others, lives. One of the main things written about is human relationships. Be it the partnership between the poet person and a relative or human relationships between items and thoughts.Relationships and emotions certainly are a complex issue to right about, since there is such a wide range. However people have had the expertise of..
Essay about Insane Asylums
The Tales of Mental Asylums in PhiladelphiaOnce upon a time, long ago in the mists of time, sprawling brick set ups housed many individuals with mental disturbances. These massive buildings were seen to the world since mental asylums for the insane. In fact, the majorities of these individuals were not ridiculous, but in distinction were struggling with mild mental problems including depression or perhaps anxiety. These individuals were viewed down after in contemporary society and had been labeled as "freaks" or "batty" because of their mental disorder. Inside the..
The Dark Life and Confessional Poems of Sylvia Plath Dissertation
By the mid 20th century, the dominance of post-modernist literature began to decline with the breakthrough of contemporary poets, who brought with all of them a new type of perspective in their poetry. These kinds of poetsespecially people who wrote confessional poetryestablished their poetry in a single, unified tone that accentuated intimate man topics including death, libido, and friends and family. An important contributor to modern day and confessional poetry was Sylvia Plath, who used personal facets of her your life into her style of confessional poetry. Plath suffered from a deep..
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