But the truth is that practicing poets, interested outsiders, and casual newcomers have no need for most of what this book offers. We don't need or want the juvenilia that closes the book. Most of the end notes gloss Plath's weird ideas of what the poems were "about," or charts biographical context. And, frankly, many of the poems just aren't good — or, rather, they aren't up to the standards that Plath herself sets in other poems. What we need is an edition of selected poems, not simply Ariel in one form or another, that judiciously picks from all the work, surrenders biography to anything other than a note on the author, and keeps Ted Hughes many arm lengths away with all due respect, sir.
A sensational life story does not write a poem, and neither does such a biography warrant that we collect and document every scribbling ever written by an author. I say, let Sylvia rest, and let the great poems be revived, free of the shackles that bound their author. That's a bit dramatic, but you'll have to forgive me — I just finished reading a few hundred pages of Sylvia Plath.
Sep 04, Galih Khumaeni rated it really liked it Shelves: poetry , favorites. Here's my favorite poem from this book: 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.
Over and over the old, granular movie Exposes embarrassments—the mizzling days Of childhood and adolescence, sticky with dreams, Pare Here's my favorite poem from this book: 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. Over and over the old, granular movie Exposes embarrassments—the mizzling days Of childhood and adolescence, sticky with dreams, Parental faces on tall stalks, alternately stern and tearful, A garden of buggy rose that made him cry.
His forehead is bumpy as a sack of rocks. Memories jostle each other for face-room like obsolete film stars. He is immune to pills: red, purple, blue — How they lit the tedium of the protracted evening! Those sugary planets whose influence won for him A life baptized in no-life for a while, And the sweet, drugged waking of a forgetful baby. Now the pills are worn-out and silly, like classical gods.
Their poppy-sleepy colors do him no good. His head is a little interior of grey mirrors. Each gesture flees immediately down an alley Of diminishing perspectives, and its significance Drains like water out the hole at the far end. He lives without privacy in a lidless room, The bald slots of his eyes stiffened wide-open On the incessant heat-lightning flicker of situations. Nightlong, in the granite yard, invisible cats Have been howling like women, or damaged instruments.
Already he can feel daylight, his white disease, Creeping up with her hatful of trivial repetitions. The city is a map of cheerful twitters now, And everywhere people, eyes mica-silver and blank, Are riding to work in rows, as if recently brainwashed. Jun 01, Jason Lilly rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: everyone who loves poetry. Shelves: favorites , favorite-authors , books-for-teachers , books-for-writers , poetry. It would be an understatement to say that I fell in love with Sylvia Plath.
The Bell Jar sank my heart, broke it in two, and revived it again. Her choice of words, even in prose, dance through your mind and are hard to forget. This is especially true, though, of her poetry. Each poem has a beautiful life of its own, but together as an anthology, the poems show Plath's true heart, fickle, angry, passionate, uninhibited. From the more disturbing poems like "Daddy" to finding eloquent beauty is simp It would be an understatement to say that I fell in love with Sylvia Plath. From the more disturbing poems like "Daddy" to finding eloquent beauty is simple things like "Black Rook in Rainy Weather".
This collection is the best there is. While "Ariel" may be her most famous collection, this anthology includes so much more, compiling a collection of poems that span her writing career, from , as well as some of her early work. The book also contains a modest introduction from Plath's once-companion Ted Hughes. Oct 22, Sekaquaptewa rated it really liked it. I have never really liked poetry, so I wasn't sure if I was going to like this book when I first started it, but after reading this collection my feelings have really changed.
Sylvia Plath is a very powerful poet, who can turn an ordinary experience into a thunderstorm of emotions. For example, in her poem "Cut" she writes about cutting her thumb while cooking. While this sounds mundane, her choice of words and tempo make a hauntingly beautiful poem. In my favorite poem in the book, "Lady Lazaru I have never really liked poetry, so I wasn't sure if I was going to like this book when I first started it, but after reading this collection my feelings have really changed.
In my favorite poem in the book, "Lady Lazarus" This poem tells the story of a woman who can come back to life. It reads "Dying Is an art, like everything else. I do it exceptionally well. Kind of dark, but in a good way, which is really the theme of the whole book. I would recommend this book to people for like poetry and have long attention spans, because staying focused was the main thing I had a problem with.
Over all I thought it was a interesting read and would recomend it to anyone looking for a book to read for halloween. View all 6 comments. I've taught this collection at A Level and it was a challenging yet enlightening experience. Plath's imagistic, brutal poems are beautiful yet cutting.
Do collected poems provide a complete account of an author?
Our appreciation of her work is certainly heightened by a knowledge of relevant biographical information her father's death and the effect it had upon her; her marriage to Ted; her psychological and emotional state; her suicide attempts etc but these poems are engaging literary gems in themselves. Vibrant colour symbolism, aggressive imagery, h I've taught this collection at A Level and it was a challenging yet enlightening experience. Vibrant colour symbolism, aggressive imagery, haunting and complex subject matters..
It is worth noting, however, that Hughes edited Plath's posthumous publications. His 'Birthday Letters' clearly portray the situation as he wishes it to be viewed; and one cannot help but wonder if he has censored Plath somewhat here After all, he did famously destroy one of her journals May 14, Eli Phillips rated it it was amazing. Apr 01, Grace rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites , books-i-read-as-a-teenager.
I think this collection may be even more essential than Ariel, though Ariel is more of a landmark. This book is literally therapy for me. I don't care if Plath is a cliche; she was a genius and you can experience it through this work. Review to come. Oct 10, Eileen rated it it was amazing.
These are beautiful, honest, wrenching poems. They are all haunting, but my thoughts keep coming back to two in particular. In CHILD, Sylvia Plath tells her baby how she would love for his beautiful eyes to reflect only wonderful things rather than the anxious, troubled spirit she has become. Speaking in the first person, she te These are beautiful, honest, wrenching poems.
When I first tackled this in , I just If you feel the same, especially if you love the Bell Jar as I do, come back to it. It's worth it. Jul 06, Robby rated it it was amazing. I am fascinated by insanity, instability, depression. People who fall into that hole and never get out, who resurface only to fall right back in.
I am fascinated by their stories, how they got there, how things end, and how they get there. She is notorious for many things, her honesty, her imagery, and the way she took her own I am fascinated by insanity, instability, depression. She is notorious for many things, her honesty, her imagery, and the way she took her own life. Before that, while she was in college, she took a slew of sleeping pills and hid under her house.
Do collected poems provide a complete account of an author? | Books | The Guardian
She was always a creative woman, even in those shocking ways. I will be the first to admit, though, that knowing of these things she did only made me more excited to read her poetry. I have also read the only novel she wrote, the semi-autobiographical The Bell Jar. She published it under the pseudonym of Victoria Lucas, but people knew that it was her. I read it over a year ago, before I began this blog. I did not understand. Someday, I will read it again. But many things are still a mystery.
So I will read it again, in a few months or years time. I will return to this. In the beginning, though I understand poetry more than I ever have before, I was still very confused. The images in her poems are complex yet, if you look deeply into each and every single poem, it is much easier to relate them to the life of this young woman. She died when she was 30, maybe only a third of the way through her life. Her life was complicated and chaotic, catastrophic.
The poems came only when she was in the midst of something, whether internal or external. But when they did come, they came. She wrote with the intention of compiling them into a collection. She met her husband, she had children, and she was even a teacher for a brief period at her alma mater Smith College. She returned to England, her marriage fell apart, and over the course of 7 years, Sylvia wrote hundreds of poems.
But Ariel, her second collection which was published posthumously, came quickly over the course of the final months of her life. She was always writing. Two more collections were published after Ariel, and then this collection was published. It won the Pulitzer Prize, and was the first posthumous publication to do so. She wrote The Bell Jar, and also a collection of short stories. She wrote in journals, which have been published together in another collection.
Her life has fascinated millions, and also her poetry. But I can explain the affect it had on me. I will try. I felt insane. I felt like I was on the edge of a cliff and I had 30 seconds to decide whether or not to jump. I felt like I was about to explode. I was hiding under my house. I was trying to teach a classroom full of children how to write poetry. My marriage was falling apart. I was falling apart. But also, these poems are about everything. They are about Sylvia, and the world.
They are about the reader, and the things they are going through at that exact time. All of these poems have something beautiful, including the Juvenilia and the drafts of poems in the Notes section. Go on Youtube and search Sylvia Plath. Listen to her reading her poems. If I read the poems aloud, in my voice, I had a better understanding. But hearing her voice speaking the words, including the words of the last poem she ever wrote, is haunting and beautiful and perfect.
It is simple and complex at the same time, knocking down all of these boundaries and walls and just plowing through you, the reader. Her word choices are meticulous even though, at times, I felt the need to rush through poems. The pacing was quick and slow and each line led to the next line and the poems all begin and end in a single, swift arc.
Her poetry is inspiring. I am already waiting for next summer, so I can come back to this. Thanks for making it this far. Sylvia Plath is one of the poets that will be in Literature forever. But reading it last fall, I knew I had to come back to this collection. And I have, and it was brilliant. Every single poem in this collection is brilliant, the hundreds of them.
If you are a poet, read this. If you are not a poet, read this. May 07, Zeynep rated it it was amazing. When I started reading this book a little and kinda hard journey began for me. Here's why: 1. I have never read a poetry collection before, just a few poems standing alone. So I wasn't really used to reading that much poetry on a day. I read the English version because I wanted to read the poet's original words. This resulted in a lot of vocabulary problems and me, questioning my English skills, and if I learned anything at all in school. But after a few days I got used to it and understood mo When I started reading this book a little and kinda hard journey began for me.
But after a few days I got used to it and understood more. I really "worked" with this book, I searched for the vocabulary I didn't know and wrote it down, I even read some interpretations on her works and thought for ones myself. Now I'm kinda proud that I've finished this book and I can honestly say: I just plainly loved this book. Although I didn't like the arrangement of the poems, they were arranged in chronological order which kinda forces the reader to see the poems next to her biography which is only right on some levels, I loved everything else about this book.
I think a lot of readers are focused on her life and her lifestyle, how she seems so "tragic" and forget that she was also a writer who worked hard to accomplish what she did and not just some "depressed teenage girl". The arrangement of the poems kinda forced this sort of thinking on the reader. While reading the poems out loud, I noticed their melody, they seem to float like a song and every verse fitted the next one, they were melodic and full of power. I also liked her choice of words and the composing of subjects and words, she often used colours to describe feelings which I absolutely adored and the structure was very well composed with the content.
It was like an artwork and you quickly notice how everything is thought through so well. I was fascinated how poems that don't rhyme can sound so wonderful and yet melodic in one's ear. I also liked the variety of subjects that were offered in the poems, it goes from love to hate, parental issues, miscarriages, self-renewal to self-issues and offers a lot everyone has thought about.
I think that's why Plath touches so many people with her poetry because everyone can relate to it. This version also offers some poems wrote before her first published works so it is able to trace back her early roots which I found really interesting, seeing how she developed her style and finally found herself and her writing style. I never imagined so much work behind poems, I always thought they just sit down on the table and bleed their heart out but Plath proved me wrong.
Every single one of her poems is pure artwork. I think I can now proudly call myself a Plath Fan. P l athology Biblimythological poetry composed by looking-glass fingertips that reveal, reflect the gothic in her-you-me. Her Hermes hovers emasculated, molting while molding her soul, bound as 'collected' but rather selected "to laud such man's blood! Only the Hughes-abused knows. Regardless, blessed is the reader of her meter, her versed verse. Each word ablution's evolution to transmogrify the mind from angelic bog to morbid garden, or vice versa, P l athology Biblimythological poetry composed by looking-glass fingertips that reveal, reflect the gothic in her-you-me.
Listen to the din, "[he] quit her at cock's crowing," hormoanal de-spirit udone. Scrutinize epicurean chiaroscuros with a penchant for sentient dimensions. Linger over the linguistic triptychs for lunatics. On high, erudite Aphrodite whirls emerald arrows to pierce the senses of those in Seine. A swath of poems perfunctorily pastoral, florist obsessed, but highly redeemed for what comes before, after, some between. The epilogue a piquing prelude to the symphony that came before. The book itself should be shaped like a rhododendron dodecahedron festooned with festering, post-fenestration figures.
Semi-evil Victorian voice announces that "The dark is melting. We touch like cripples. Jun 13, Candace Morris rated it it was amazing. Yes please. This is a fabulous collection of all MzPlath's work. Lady Lazurus is my favorite by far. Shall I list it here? Well, ok. Lady Lazarus I have done it again.
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One year in every ten I manage it A sort of walking miracle, my skin Bright as a Nazi lampshade, My right foot A paperweight, My featureless, fine Jew linen. Peel off the napkin O my enemy. Do I terrify? The sour breath Will vanish in a day. Soon, soon the flesh The grave c Yes please. Soon, soon the flesh The grave cave ate will be At home on me And I a smiling woman. I am only thirty. And like the cat I have nine times to die. This is Number Three. What a trash To annihilate each decade. What a million filaments. The Peanut-crunching crowd Shoves in to see Them unwrap me hand and foot The big strip tease.
Gentleman , ladies These are my hands My knees. I may be skin and bone, Nevertheless, I am the same, identical woman. The first time it happened I was ten. It was an accident. The second time I meant To last it out and not come back at all. I rocked shut As a seashell. They had to call and call And pick the worms off me like sticky pearls. Dying Is an art, like everything else. I do it so it feels like hell.
I do it so it feels real. I guess you could say I've a call. It's easy enough to do it in a cell. It's easy enough to do it and stay put. It's the theatrical Comeback in broad day To the same place, the same face, the same brute Amused shout: 'A miracle! There is a charge For the eyeing my scars, there is a charge For the hearing of my heart It really goes. And there is a charge, a very large charge For a word or a touch Or a bit of blood Or a piece of my hair on my clothes. So, so, Herr Doktor. So, Herr Enemy. I am your opus, I am your valuable, The pure gold baby That melts to a shriek.
I turn and burn. Do not think I underestimate your great concern. Ash, ash You poke and stir. Flesh, bone, there is nothing there A cake of soap, A wedding ring, A gold filling. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Readers also enjoyed. About Sylvia Plath. With Barbara at Larrys. Poem Read at Joan Mitchells.
The light comes on by itself. Mary Destis Ass. Mozart Chemisier. Poem Lana Turner has collapsed. Captains Courageous. Lines for the Fortune Cookies. Little Elegy for Antonio Machado. Notes on Second Avenue. Statement for Paterson Society An Image of Leda 3 5. Notes on the Essays. The Abstract Expressionist painters in New York City during the s and s used the title, but the poets borrowed it. From the beginning O'Hara's poetry was engaged with the worlds of music, dance, and painting. In that complex of associations he devised an idea of poetic form that allowed the inclusion of many kinds of events, including everyday conversations and notes about New York advertising signs.
Since his death in at age forty, the depth and richness of his achievements as a poet and art critic have been recognized by an international audience.
As the painter Alex Katz remarked, "Frank's business was being an active intellectual. How Roses Get Black. All That Gas. At Joans. The Spirit Ink. Hunting Horns. A Young Poet.