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Ariel by Sylvia Plath

Ariel (1965)

by Sylvia Plath

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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» See also 57 mentions

English (31)  Spanish (1)  German (1)  All languages (33)
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
By Sylvia Plath

This spirited and intelligent woman has one of the most amazing minds and a clever wit in confessional poetry ever. Ariel, a collection of her poems, centers of her dark and desperate attempts to overcome her mental state. The love/hate relationship with her father is told in one of the centerpieces of this collection. Title "Daddy", it sets the pace and mindset for her anxiety and darkness, eventually leading to her suicide.
This is a very personal and dramatic collection, that illustrates her intensity as a women, a woman writer, and her conflicted mental state. Essential reading. ( )
  over.the.edge | Sep 16, 2018 |
Suicidally depressing; daddy issues; obsession with bees and honey. I bought this book as a poetry impulse and on a recommendation of an interesting author. The poetry is alright; it’s the author who is truly interesting. ( )
  Michael_Rose | Apr 4, 2018 |
Plath is definitely one of my favorite poets.
Her words pregnant with sadness and insight!
To a world only known to her.
This collection was lovely!
All poems spoke to me differently, some more than others, but that doesn't erase the fact that Plath was extremely talented.

Here are some of my favorite Lines/Passages

[5] A flower left out.
My bones hold a stillness, the far
Fields melt my heart.

[11] Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair
And I eat men like air.

[20] On my eyes, my lips, my hair
Touching and melting.

[30-31] Masturbating a glitter,
He wants to be loved.
I do not stir.
The frost makes a flower,
The dew makes a star,
The dead bell,
The dead bell.

Somebody's done for. ( )
1 vote frailrouge | Mar 28, 2018 |
So many of my favorite writers have stuggled with the suicidal urge, but like bees who labor for next year's hive, these despairing souls leave works of honey behind. I found her lesser known poems to be as rich as the ones included in all the anthologies.

In the poem "Totem" Plath, in her unique voice, conflates the metaphor of life as a train journey with the reassembly of the self upon waking at dawn:

"There is no terminus, only suitcases

Out of which the same self unfolds like a suit
Bald and shiny, with pockets of wishes,

Notions and tickets, short circuits and folding mirrors."

This passage is remarkable because it is so different from the disparate stack of images - of butchers, snakes, and spiders - built around the theme of encroaching death which is the rest of the poem.

"The Rival" is more focused, a thing of devastating beauty and sadness:

"I wake to a mausoleum; you are here,
Ticking your fingers on the marble table, looking for cigarettes,
Spiteful as a woman, but not so nervous,
And dying to say something unanswerable."

Betrayed by her husband, she must endure his silent presence because his mind is elsewhere, thinking of Her - the rival.

Plath, having had her life blown to bits by Hughes's infidelity, falls into the stasis of narcissism, a rickety coping mechanism, and, turning away from the universe, writes in the poem "Years":

"Eternity bores me,
I never wanted it."

Her pain was monumental, her poetry eloquent. Read softly, but carry a big ice-cold beverage. ( )
1 vote ReneEldaBard | Nov 6, 2017 |
This volume was probably my first introduction to adult poetry (that is, poetry not written for kids) when I was in college. I was swept under Plath's spell immediately. Her gift of language is riveting. The fact that her life was cut short by her own hand leaves with many feelings; one of them is that, had she chosen to live, she would have gone on to find freedom and support in what was then the nascent women's liberation movement. But that's not how it worked out, to the great loss of not only her family, but to the culture as well. ( )
  harrietbrown | Jun 24, 2017 |
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» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sylvia Plathprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lowell, RobertForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Young, SarahCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Frieda and Nicholas
First words
Love set you going like a fat gold watch.
O love, O celibate. Nobody but me walks the waist-high wet. The irreplaceable golds bleed and deepen, the mouths of Thermopylae.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060931728, Paperback)

Sylvia Plath churned out her final poems at the remarkable rate of two or three a day, and Robert Lowell describes them as written by "hardly a person at all ... but one of those super-real, hypnotic, great classical heroines." Even more remarkable, she wrote them during one of the coldest, snowiest winters (1962-63) Londoners have ever known. Snowbound, without central heating, she and her two children spent much of their time sniffling, coughing, or running temperatures (In "Fever 103°" she writes, "I have been flickering, off, on, off on. / The sheets grow heavy as a lecher's kiss."). Pipes froze, lights failed, and candles were unobtainable.

As if these physical privations weren't enough, Plath was out in the cold in another sense--her husband, Ted Hughes, had left her for another woman earlier that year. Despite all this (or perhaps because of it), the Ariel poems dazzle with their lyricism, their surprising and vivid imagery, and their wit. Rather than confining herself to her bleak surroundings, Plath draws from a wide array of experience. In "Berck-Plage," for instance, clouds are "electrifyingly-coloured sherbets, scooped from the freeze." In "The Night Dances," the poet stands crib-side, reveling in her son's own brand of do-si-do: "Such pure leaps and spirals--Surely they travel / The world forever, I shall not entirely / Sit emptied of beauties, the gift / Of your small breath..."

Though at times they present the reader with hopelessness laid bare, these poems also teem with the brightest shards of a life, confounding those who merely look for the words of a gloomy, dispassionate suicide. Plath rose each morning in the final months of her life to "that still blue, almost eternal hour before the baby's cry" and left us these words like "axes/After whose stroke the wood rings..."

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:47 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

An acclaimed anthology of vivid and emotionally shattering poems, written during the last months of Plath's short life, is accompanied by a brief author profile and an incisive foreword by Robert Lowell.

» see all 5 descriptions

Legacy Library: Sylvia Plath

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