• Welcome to BookAndReader!

    We LOVE books and hope you'll join us in sharing your favorites and experiences along with your love of reading with our community. Registering for our site is free and easy, just CLICK HERE!

    Already a member and forgot your password? Click here.

Sylvia Plath


New Member
Any fans of Plath's poetry out there? I'm new to it, I had to pick a poem, any poem to write an essay on imagery (quite a broad range to pick from :rolleyes:) and I just couldn't pick.

My mum had bought me a collection of her poetry (selected by Ted Hughes) which I'd flicked through a couple of times and then forgotten about but when I picked it up to look for a poem for my essay I was really overwhelmed by how raw and personal some of it seems - overwhelmed in a good way.

I chose 'Suicide off Egg Rock' to write my essay on, but it was a tough choice. I would have loved to discuss 'Tulips' but the word count would have been waaaay too small :)

Anyone love or hate her? I'd also be interested to know what her prose is like, but that's probably for another forum.
Having just finished The Bell Jar I can say that her prose is extremely easy to read. I really love her poetry because there is so much left up to the imagination and it is so dark and engaging but her prose is great as well since it is much more straightforward without compromising a great story. If you like the intimacy that her poetry brings, you should definitely read The Bell Jar. It is probably the most intimate look into her life you can get.
I liked The Bell Jar and I find her poetry good but rather difficult, I didn't want to get any Plath subjects in my exams when I was a student.:D
I think Gwenyth Paltrow played the role of Sylvia Plath in a film called Sylvia, about her life and her relationship with Ted.
I found the Bell Jar boring, depressing and worse.:sick:

An ex-friend lent it to me, she thought it was wonderful.
I'm not into poetry and, most of the time, I find it to be like a ball of string I can't unravel. The only thing I know about Sylvia Plath is the 2003 movie "Sylvia" starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Daniel Craig. This movie reinforced, to me, the myth that all literary geniuses are bipolar or otherwise whacked.
I had to read Sylvia Path in high school and the project that was associated with it made me not like her stuff. I haven't picked it up since.
The movie I thought was excellent. I read the Bell Jar before I saw the film, but Paltrow I think did a superb job at playing Plath.

I find her poetry to be a bit confusing (okay, extremely confusing), and like someone else said, I hope everytime I'm taking some sort of test that her poetry doesn't end up on it. Her prose, however, is far easier to understand, and I think it's an incredibly interesting book considering her troubles of growing up as a woman with mental illness in a time period where she was supposed to be considerably happy with a family, etc.

I only have her Ariel collection, but a friend of mine insists that her poetry isn't confusing once you analyze it fully. I'm taking a poetry class in college, though, hopefully we'll study something of Plath's.
If you enjoy Sylvia Plath, you might also consider Anne Sexton, another, poetess who wrote at the same time as Plath and also composed poems along the same themes.
I'm not real into poetry, but I loved The Bell Jar. It's very curt and almost abrasive in how sudden a lot of it is. I think that's one of the best ways to portray the subject matter. Just slap someone across the face with it because that's how most people deal with it in real life. It doesn't make sense and it comes out of nowhere.

The book starts a tad slow and is sort of antiquated in parts, but it's impossible to put down.
After reading The Bell Jar and a few short stories I think I prefer her poetry. That's not to say I didn't enjoy her prose - I read The Bell Jar in two days and found it accessible and interesting - as others have mentioned she makes subjects like suicide, depression and an overwhelming feeling of being detached from the world digestible for readers. Her short stories are really good too.

There's something wonderfully delightful and disturbing about a lot of her poetry though - one that I recently can't stop reading is 'Cut', which pretty much does what it says on the tin - the speaker cuts their thumb while chopping an onion. The imagery is of blood and antiseptic but there are also references to pilgrims and redcoats - give it a read, it's especially pleasing read aloud :)