Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath Poems

The prince leans to the girl in scarlet heels,
Her green eyes slant, hair flaring in a fan
Of silver as the rondo slows; now reels
Begin on tilted violins to span
...

2.

You do not do, you do not do
Any more, black shoe
In which I have lived like a foot
For thirty years, poor and white,
...

What is this, behind this veil, is it ugly, is it beautiful?
It is shimmering, has it breasts, has it edges?

I am sure it is unique, I am sure it is what I want.
...

I have done it again.
One year in every ten
I manage it----
...

5.

Stasis in darkness.
Then the substanceless blue
Pour of tor and distances.
...

'I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)
...

I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.
Whatever I see I swallow immediately
Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike.
I am not cruel, only truthful ‚
...

8.

Your clear eye is the one absolutely beautiful thing.
I want to fill it with color and ducks,
The zoo of the new
Whose name you meditate --
...

I'm a riddle in nine syllables,
An elephant, a ponderous house,
A melon strolling on two tendrils.
O red fruit, ivory, fine timbers!
...

10.

Touch it: it won't shrink like an eyeball,
This egg-shaped bailiwick, clear as a tear.
Here's yesterday, last year ---
Palm-spear and lily distinct as flora in the vast
...

the slime of all my yesterdays
rots in the hollow of my skull

and if my stomach would contract
...

Nobody in the lane, and nothing, nothing but blackberries,
Blackberries on either side, though on the right mainly,
A blackberry alley, going down in hooks, and a sea
Somewhere at the end of it, heaving. Blackberries
...

Compelled by calamity's magnet
They loiter and stare as if the house
Burnt-out were theirs, or as if they thought
Some scandal might any minute ooze
...

14.

What a thrill -
My thumb instead of an onion.
The top quite gone
Except for a sort of hinge
...

Since Christmas they have lived with us,
Guileless and clear,
Oval soul-animals,
Taking up half the space,
...

But I would rather be horizontal.
I am not a tree with my root in the soil
Sucking up minerals and motherly love
So that each March I may gleam into leaf,
...

The night is only a sort of carbon paper,
Blueblack, with the much-poked periods of stars
Letting in the light, peephole after peephole . . .
A bonewhite light, like death, behind all things.
...

On the stiff twig up there
Hunches a wet black rook
Arranging and rearranging its feathers in the rain-
I do not expect a miracle
...

Spry, wry, and gray as these March sticks,
Percy bows, in his blue peajacket, among the narcissi.
He is recuperating from something on the lung.
...

20.

The tulips are too excitable, it is winter here.
Look how white everything is, how quiet, how snowed-in
I am learning peacefulness, lying by myself quietly
As the light lies on these white walls, this bed, these hands.
...

Sylvia Plath Biography

Born in 1932 to middle class parents in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, Sylvia Plath published her first poem at the age of eight. A sensitive person who tended to be a bit of a perfectionist she was what many would consider a model daughter and student - popular, a straight A student, always winning the best prizes. She won a scholarship to Smith College in 1950 and even then she had an enviable list of publications. While at Smith she wrote over four hundred poems. However, beneath the surface of her seeming perfection were some grave discontinuities, some which probably were caused by the death of her father, an entomologist, when she was eight. During the summer after her junior year in college, Sylvia made her first (and almost successful) attempt at suicide by overdosing on sleeping pills. The experience is described in her autobiographical novel, The Bell Jar , published in 1963. After a period of recovery, which involved electroshock and psychotherapy she once again pursued academic and literary success, graduating from Smith summa cum laude in 1955 and winning a Fulbright scholarship to study in Cambridge, England. In 1956 she married Ted Hughes, an English poet, and in 1960, at the age of twenty-eight she published her first book, The Colossus in England. The poems found in the book clearly showed the dedication with which she pursued her apprenticeship, yet they only gave a taste of what was to come in the poems she began writing in early 1961. She and Hughes settled for a brief time in an English country village in Devon, England. However, less than two years after the birth of their first child the marriage disintegrated. In the winter if 1962-63, one of the coldest in centuries, Sylvia lived in a small flat in London, with her two children, ill with the flu and nearly broke. The difficulties in her life seened to reinforce her need to write and she often worked between four and eight a.m., before the children awoke. She would sometimes finish a poem a day. In her last works it seems as though some deeper and more powerful self had grabbed control of her. In those poems death is given a cruel, physical allure and psychic pain becomes almost tactile. On February 11, 1963, Sylvia Plath succeeded in killing herself with cooking gas at the age of thirty. Two years after her death, Ariel , a collection of some her last poems was published, that was followed by Crossing the Water and Winter Trees in 1971 and in 1981 The Collected Poems was published, edited by none other than Ted Hughes.)

The Best Poem Of Sylvia Plath

Cinderella

The prince leans to the girl in scarlet heels,
Her green eyes slant, hair flaring in a fan
Of silver as the rondo slows; now reels
Begin on tilted violins to span

The whole revolving tall glass palace hall
Where guests slide gliding into light like wine;
Rose candles flicker on the lilac wall
Reflecting in a million flagons' shine,

And glided couples all in whirling trance
Follow holiday revel begun long since,
Until near twelve the strange girl all at once
Guilt-stricken halts, pales, clings to the prince

As amid the hectic music and cocktail talk
She hears the caustic ticking of the clock.

Sylvia Plath Comments

Fabrizio Frosini 18 January 2016

'' The silence depressed me. It wasn't the silence of silence. It was my own silence. I knew perfectly well the cars were making a noise, and the people in them and behind the lit windows of the buildings were making a noise, and the river was making a noise, but I couldn't hear a thing. The city hung in my window, flat as a poster, glittering and blinking, but it might just as well not have been there at all, for the good it did me. '' [from 'The Bell Jar' (1963) ]

304 14 Reply
Else Cederborg 30 May 2012

Such rage, such sudden insights are not seen in many. She was unique.

75 50 Reply
Thilakan Eis 20 December 2012

she is very popular poet 68752

58 53 Reply
Sandy Player 05 March 2013

Here we sit at our desks; I'm sure Plath would have descibed us as having a bowl of peanuts beside us.

57 54 Reply
Sayeed Abubakar 18 May 2012

No poet ever dies. You are the best example.

71 39 Reply
walter white 13 September 2022

my name is walter hartwell white i live 308 negra arroyo Albuquerque new mexico 87104

1 0 Reply

Today, on 06 May 2022, PoemHunter features Plath as Poet Of The Day. Doing so, this site and we the members are honoured.

1 0 Reply
Sylvia Frances Chan 07 February 2021

Congratulations being chosen as The Poet Of The Day. Hoorray! My classic favourite poetess.

1 0 Reply
Sylvia Frances Chan 07 February 2021

The Bell Jar, a true Materpiece and so excellent. My favourite classic poetess. I love her poems, they are metaphored and yet realistic

2 0 Reply
Natalia 18 July 2020

I loved Plath's Bell Jar. It was realistic, real, and angry.

3 0 Reply

Sylvia Plath Quotes

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.

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.

Sunday—the doctor's paradise! Doctors at country clubs, doctors at the seaside, doctors with mistresses, doctors with wives, doctors in church, doctors in yachts, doctors everywhere resolutely being people, not doctors.

Sylvia Plath Popularity

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