Ariel
Sylvia Plath's celebrated collection.When Sylvia Plath died, she not only left behind a prolific life but also her unpublished literary masterpiece, Ariel. Her husband, Ted Hughes, brought the collection to life in 1966, and its publication garnered worldwide acclaim. This collection showcases the beloved poet’s brilliant, provoking, and always moving poems, including "Ariel" and once again shows why readers have fallen in love with her work throughout the generations.

Ariel Details

TitleAriel
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMar 6th, 2018
PublisherHarper Perennial Modern Classics
ISBN-139780060931728
Rating
GenrePoetry, Classics, Feminism, Fiction

Ariel Review

  • Paul Bryant
    January 1, 1970
    Inspired by Paul Legault's brilliant idea of translating Emily Dickinson's poems into English, I thought immediately - I have to steal that idea. So here are some of the Ariel poems of Sylvia Plath translated into English. I have, of course, tried my utmost to perform this task with tact, discretion and good taste.ARIEL TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISHELM.Look, let's get this straight. I am a tree, you are a woman. We can never be together, not in the way you'd like, anyway. Plus, you're kind of irritati Inspired by Paul Legault's brilliant idea of translating Emily Dickinson's poems into English, I thought immediately - I have to steal that idea. So here are some of the Ariel poems of Sylvia Plath translated into English. I have, of course, tried my utmost to perform this task with tact, discretion and good taste.ARIEL TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISHELM.Look, let's get this straight. I am a tree, you are a woman. We can never be together, not in the way you'd like, anyway. Plus, you're kind of irritating.THE RABBIT CATCHERI went out with this guy once and then I found out he liked to catch rabbits. So he was toast. I should have dimed the bastard.BERCK-PLAGEI went on holiday. Every single person in the whole hotel was talking about me behind my back. I don't like bikinis. Don't even get me started on nude beaches.THE OTHERI have something dead in my handbag. Tee hee. Also, I scratched myself and made myself bleed. I don't really recommend marriage.A BIRTHDAY PRESENTI got a present. But I was thinking that if I unwrapped it, it would bite my face off. So I didn't. Hah.THE BEE MEETINGI thought I'd like to join in village life and get involved with local societies and all that. So I went to the bee keepers' meeting. It was like something out of Alfred Hitchcock. I liked it.STINGSNow I'm a real bee keeper. I get blase about stings. It's like a metaphor.THE SWARMBees are kind of like Nazis. Or the French. I can't decide.WINTERINGCountry life can suck. I wish I was a bee. No, I don't really. That would be silly. I think it would be silly. Maybe it wouldn't be silly.A SECRETMen are like big babies that drink beer and want you to wear high class lingerie. Okay, that's not much of a secret.THE APPLICANTI got this job as a temp. So I was filing and I knew I could destroy them if I chose, just like that, but I didn't choose to that day.DADDYWhen I was little and my dad used to dress up in his SS uniform I used to think he looked so smart and handsome. Of course, later, the penny dropped.LESBOSYou really shouldn't have taken the kittens and given them to the neighbours without a by-your-leave. I think I am going to pour sulphuric acid on your head while you are sleeping. I'll do it tonight. Yes.FEVER 103I got one of those 48 hour bugs. That's why he's still alive. If I had any strength in my limbs I would have sulphuric-acided his head last night.CUTI nearly cut my fucking thumb off when I was making a casserole for a man. I jumped about swearing. I could have cut off something useful, like his member, but no, it had to be my thumb.POPPIES IN OCTOBERHave you noticed that everything is slowly dying of carbon-monoxide poisoning?LADY LAZARUSI like to commit suicide like some people like to visit their grandparents. You really don't want to, it's kind of a drag and there's nothing to do there, but you just feel you have to because you're a good person.LETTER IN NOVEMBERDear Ted - Fuck you - SylviaDEATH & COCheer up, things could be worse, I could be dead. Oh no, wait a minute - this is worse, that would be better. Hmm.SHEEP IN FOGWell, you know sheep aren't that bright to begin with. So when you mix 'em up with a thick fog, the results are hilarious.
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  • Manny
    January 1, 1970
    When I was a kid, I loved stories about intrepid explorers who visited places no one had ever seen before, and died heroically in the attempt. I guess Scott of the Antarctic is the canonical example - though later on, I discovered to my surprise that Norwegians just think he was an idiot who didn't prepare carefully, and that Amundsen was the real hero. There is a wonderful episode in Jan Kjærstad's Erobreren which contrasts the English and Norwegian views of these two great men.So what's this g When I was a kid, I loved stories about intrepid explorers who visited places no one had ever seen before, and died heroically in the attempt. I guess Scott of the Antarctic is the canonical example - though later on, I discovered to my surprise that Norwegians just think he was an idiot who didn't prepare carefully, and that Amundsen was the real hero. There is a wonderful episode in Jan Kjærstad's Erobreren which contrasts the English and Norwegian views of these two great men.So what's this got to do with Ariel? I was trying to figure out why I like it so much (it's been one of my absolute favorite pieces of poetry since I first came across it as a teenager), and it struck me that maybe I admired it for similar reasons. Sylvia Plath went on an expedition to a sort of emotional Antarctica, a place most people have heard of but never visited, where you experience love so intensely that it ends up killing you. Before that happened, however, she managed to send back detailed reports of what she'd found there. Perhaps another reason why I associate her and the brave Captain Scott is that she died during the English winter of 1963. I was five at the time, and some of my first memories are of the bitter cold, and of how incredibly deep the snow was. I remember that we were snowed in, and that my father shovelled a path to the house next door, so that we could at least visit them. The snow was much higher than his head. A few hundred miles away, Sylvia had left her husband, and was living in London with her two children. She killed herself on February 11.Here are some of the passages from Ariel that I think of most often. I have always assumed that the title poem is about having sex with Ted Hughes, though I found out recently that it's also about her horse. It ends like this:...WhiteGodiva, I unpeel -Dead hands, dead stringencies.And now IFoam to wheat, a glitter of seas.The child's cryMelts in the wall.And IAm the arrow,The dew that fliesSuicidal, at one with the driveInto the redEye, the cauldron of morning.The beginning of Elm is another of my favourite passages, which expresses better than anything else I can think of just how painful love can be. I remember once showing it to a friend who's had a rather difficult life (we'd been having some discussion about poetry). She seemed almost physically affected; I remember she turned pale, and couldn't finish reading it. I wished I'd had more sense:I know the bottom, she says. I know it with my great tap root:It is what you fear.I do not fear it: I have been there.Is it the sea you hear in me,Its dissatisfactions?Or the voice of nothing, that was your madness?Love is a shadow.How you lie and cry after itListen: these are its hooves: it has gone off, like a horse.All night I shall gallop thus, impetuously,Till your head is a stone, your pillow a little turf,Echoing, echoing...And I love the end of Nick and the Candlestick, which she apparently wrote to her son, two years old at the time:O embryoRemembering, even in sleep,Your crossed position.The blood blooms cleanIn you, ruby.The painYou wake to is not yours.Love, love,I have hung our cave with roses,With soft rugs--The last of Victoriana.Let the starsPlummet to their dark address,Let the mercuricAtoms that cripple dripInto the terrible well,You are the oneSolid the spaces lean on, envious.You are the baby in the barn.I was so shocked when I read earlier this year that he had also killed himself. But when someone's written a poem like this about you, you're as immortal as the unnamed subject of Shakespeare's Sonnet XVIII.By the way, most people have been very dismissive of the movie with Gwynneth Paltrow and Daniel Craig. I seem to be one of the rare exceptions; the script was nothing special, but I thought Paltrow had done a fine job of capturing her personality on screen.
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  • Dolors
    January 1, 1970
    Either disturbed by some haunting, otherworldly presence or simply because of the purring birdsong I awake on the early hours of this winter morning and I grab Sylvia Plath’s collection of poems Ariel, which is calling to me from my bedside table. Still drowsy with soft shades of silky sheets printed on my cheeks my glassy eyes try to focus on stray words that chop like sharpened axes. Streams of unleashed running waters wash over me but fail to cleanse my soul. I am unsettled. Disturbing images Either disturbed by some haunting, otherworldly presence or simply because of the purring birdsong I awake on the early hours of this winter morning and I grab Sylvia Plath’s collection of poems Ariel, which is calling to me from my bedside table. Still drowsy with soft shades of silky sheets printed on my cheeks my glassy eyes try to focus on stray words that chop like sharpened axes. Streams of unleashed running waters wash over me but fail to cleanse my soul. I am unsettled. Disturbing images flood the still pond of my mind, I feel faint visualizing drops of blood soaking weaved carpets of fluffy snowflakes drawing impossibly flowery forms on shimmering innocence, red tulips opening their moist petals aroused by treacherous dew at dawn, warmth bitterly frozen in morbid colors. Sylvia’s brushstrokes combine the diluted shades of Manet with the impressionist aggressiveness and stunning tones of Pollock. Vulnerability and firm willpower are both present in form and content in this collection of poems. I encounter unapologetic Sylvia in her Lady Lazarus bewitching me with her defiant assertion: Dying Is an art, like everything else. I do it exceptionally well.”And I force myself not to think of her tragic suicide and her mental condition when she wrote these verses. I choose to concentrate on the writer, on the genius, on the creativity which enables suffering to become universal works of art that offer comfort and redemption, on the flowing current of feeling rather than on the scabrous speculations hiding behind Sylvia’s supposed products of madness. Truth is I don’t want to know. Some things are best left unsought, some things need to be sensed rather than known, so I decide to surrender to Sylvia’s acidic voice and let the walls of this cage dissolve away and for the briefest of moments, I taste the undistinguishable flavor of exhilarating freedom.Let the poems speak for themselves. They probe unfalteringly with sardonic disdain, they delve deep in scavenger spirit, pecking unmercifully at their own creator’s flesh, they are abrupt, sarcastic, even deceitful. Sylvia’s virulent words become everlasting vessels, carriers of existential vision, ships of meaning that will perpetually sail the wintry dark waters of countless readers breaking through their foggy minds and dormant hearts.I thirstily swallow these 43 naked poems trying not to choke on their rawness and I unexpectedly find myself dragged by the powerful force of this kaleidoscopic river of white pure waters, red sensual nooks and black nihilist crannies. I am lost in this world of barren landscapes and atrocious celestial bodies, of endless inner wars and abandoned children and abused fathers. But I don’t want to be found. “O God, I am not like youIn your vacuous black,Stars stuck all over, bright stupid confetti.Eternity bores me, I never wanted it.”YearsSylvia’s use of colloquial language and her disdainful tone puncture the balloon of comfort and challenge the reader, her assonant and imperfect rhymes structured in free verse blend with myth and natural imagery creating a surreal and hypnotic hum that soothes and strikes back like a cobra, drawing honest blood and recognition. “Who do you think you are?A Communion wafer? Blubbery Mary?I shall take no bite of your body,Bottle in which I live,Ghastly Vatican.I am sick to death of hot salt.Green as eunuchs, your wishesHiss at my sins.Off, off, eely tentacle!There is nothing between us.” MedusaSylvia’s choice of words and expressions pungently resonate in this age of gender conflict, broken families and economic inequalities, the bottled rage that derives from continuous betrayal and disappointment can be softened through Plath’s bitter yet courageous individuality. Some exotic birds aren’t meant to be caged. It would be a sin not to allow their colorful feathers to be spread and fly away. Sylvia escaped from a colorless world to soar the skies of eternity, tingeing them with burning bright celestial pathways that enlighten the firmament of those who, from time to time, dare to look up to the floors of heaven and allow themselves to be consumed by the flames of blazing and immortal art. “ It is what you fear.I do not fear it: I have been there.It is the sea you hear in me,Its dissatisfactions?Or the voice of nothing, that was your madness?Love is a shadow.”Elm
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  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    January 1, 1970
    Ariel, Sylvia Plath تاریخ نخستیم خوانش: در ماه جولای سال 2000 میلادیعنوان: آریل؛ شاعر: سیلویا پلات؛ مترجم: کاوه بهزادیسیلویا پلات شاعریست که نیاز به معرفی ندارد. همانطور که میدانید به سال 1932 میلادی در ایالت ماساچوست ِ آمریکا به دنیا آمد و در سال 1963 میلادی در جوانی و اوج دست از این جهان شست. از ایشان کتابهای ِ: آریل؛ کتاب ِ بستر؛ کلوسوس و چند شعر ِ دیگر؛ درختان ِ زمستانی؛ گذر از آب و…. و نیز یک رمان با عنوان: حباب ِ شیشه بر جای مانده استیک هدیه برای تولدچه چیز است در پس ِ این حجاب؟آیا زشت است Ariel, Sylvia Plath تاریخ نخستیم خوانش: در ماه جولای سال 2000 میلادیعنوان: آریل؛ شاعر: سیلویا پلات؛ مترجم: کاوه بهزادیسیلویا پلات شاعریست که نیاز به معرفی ندارد. همانطور که میدانید به سال 1932 میلادی در ایالت ماساچوست ِ آمریکا به دنیا آمد و در سال 1963 میلادی در جوانی و اوج دست از این جهان شست. از ایشان کتابهای ِ: آریل؛ کتاب ِ بستر؛ کلوسوس و چند شعر ِ دیگر؛ درختان ِ زمستانی؛ گذر از آب و…. و نیز یک رمان با عنوان: حباب ِ شیشه بر جای مانده استیک هدیه برای تولدچه چیز است در پس ِ این حجاب؟آیا زشت است؟ آیا زیباست؟سوسو میزندروشن و خاموش میشودآیا سینه دارد؟ آیا کنار دارد؟یقین دارم که بی همتاستیقین دارم همان چیزیست که میخواهموقتی که خاموشم در پخت و پزاحساس میکنم نگاه میکنداحساس میکنم فکر میکندآیا همان چیزیست که مرا بیش از اندازه آماده کرده؟آیا همان برگزیده است با چشم-حفره های سیاهکه جای زخم بر آن مانده؟اندازه میگیرد انبوه ِ آرد را و تکه میکند اضافه اش رادر حال ِ چسبیدن به دستوراتدستوراتدستوراتآیا همان است که مسیح را در مریم بشارت داد؟خدای ِ من، چه مسخره!؛اما سوسو میزندروشن و خاموش میشودصبر نمیکندو فکر میکنم که مرا میخواهدچه فرق میکند؟استخوان باشد یا دکمه ای از مروارید!؛به هر حال من امسال چیز زیادی از یک هدیه نمیخواهمچرا که فکر میکنم به تصادفی زنده امچرا که شادمان، خودم را به هر طریق ِ ممکن کشته بودمحالا این حجابها هستند که مانند ِ پرده سوسو میزنندروشناییهای اطلسی ِ یک پنجره ی زمستانیسپید، مثل تختخواب ِ کودکانو برق از نفّس ِ مرده به رنگ دندان ِ فیلباید یک دندان ِ تیز آنجا باشد,ستونی از اشباح!؛نمیتوانید ببینید؟ برایم مهم نیست که چیستآیا تو میتوانی آنرا به من ندهی؟!خجل نباش، مهم نیست اگر کوچک باشدبخیل نباش، من برای ِ عظمت آماده امبگذلرید بنشینیمهر یک در سمتی از آندر شگفت از نورانی بودنش، در شگفت از آینه وار بودنشبگذارید آخرین شاممان را بر آن بخوریمآنچنان که بر یک بشقاب در بیمارستانمیدانم که چرا به من نمیدهیش؟تو وحشت کرده ایحالا که جهان از جیغی بالا میرود به همراه سرت بی آنکه پروایی داشته باشیبه شکل ِ یک سپر ِ باستانیاعجازی برای ِ نوادگان ِ شمااما نترسید، این چنین نیستمن تنها میگیرمش و به کناری میگریزمو تو نه صدای ِ باز کردنشنه صدای ِ گسستن ِ زبانشو نه صدای ِ جیغی در انتها خواهی شنیدفکر نمیکنم امتیازی به این احتیاطم بدهیآه اگر میدانستی چگونه این حجابها روزهای مرا میکشنددر نگاه ِ تو آنها خود وضوح و شفافیتند، به شکل ِ هوایی تمیزاما خدای من! ابرها این روزها به سان ِ پنبه شده اندارتشی از آنها…………..ارتشی از مونوکسید ِ کربنبه شیرینی، مانند ِ شکر به درون نفس میکشمو رگهایم را از میلیونها پنهانی پر میکنمغبارهای ِ غریبی که بر سالهای ِ عمرم خط میکشندتو لباسهای نقره ایَت را برای این مناسبت بپوشآیا برایتان غیرممکن است چیزی را رها کنید برود؟آیا باید به هر چیزی مُهری ارغوانی بزنید؟آیا باید هر چه را که توانید بکُشید؟آه، من امروز چیزی میخواهم و تو تنها کسی هستی که میتوانی آنرا به من دهیچیزی که پس پنجره ام ایستاده است، به عظمت ِ آسمانچیزی که میان ِ اوراقم نَفَس میکشدآن مرکز ِ مرده را میگویمآنجا که زندگیهای ِ شکاف خورده سرد و سخت به تاریخ گره میخورندنگذار با نامه بیاید، از انگشتی به انگشت ِ دیگرنگذار با کلمه ای از دهان برسدآه، من باید شصت ساله باشمتا زمانی که این همه تحویل داده شودتا خالی از هر احساسی شومتا از آن استفاده کنمتنها بگذار از این نقاب پایین بیایماز این حجاب، حجاب، حجاباگر این مرگ میبودمن سنگینی ِ عمیقش را و چشمان ِ بی انتهایش را تحسین میکردمآنوقت میدانستم تو جدی بودیسپس میتوانست اصالتیسپس میتوانست تولدی در کار باشدو چاقو، نه برای ِ تکه کردن، که برای ِ درون شدن میبودژاو و پاکیزه، به شکل ِ گریه ی یک کودکو جهان از کنار ِ من سرازیر میشد.؛آینهنقره ام، دقیقم، بی هیچ نقش پیشینهرچه میبینم بی درنگ میبلعمهمانگونه که هست، نیالوده به عشق یا نفرتبی رحم نیستم، فقط راستگو هستمچشمان خدایی کوچک، چهار گوشهاغلب به دیوار رو به رو میاندیشمصورتی ست و لکه دارآنقدر به آن نگاه کرده ام که فکر میکنمپاره ی دل من استولی پیدا و ناپیدا میشودصورتها و تاریکی بارها ما را از هم جدا میکنندحالا دریاچه امزنی روبرویم خم شده استبرای شناختن خود سرا پای مرا میکاودآنگاه به شمعها یا ماه، این دروغگویان، باز میگرددپشت او را میبینم و همانگونه که هست منعکس میکنمزن با اشک و تکان دادن دست پاداشم میدهدبرای او اهمیت دارم، میآید و میروداین صورت اوست که هر صبح جانشین تاریکی میشوددر من دختری را غرق کرده استو در من زنی سالخورده هر روز به جستجوی اومثل ماهی هولناکی برمیخیزد در مقدمه ی «آریل» اثر: سیلویا پلات، که دو سال پیش از خودکشی شاعر، در لندن چاپ شد، رابرت لاول شاعر معاصر آمریکا نوشت: «در این اشعار پلات با خودش یکی میشود، خویشتنی که با طراوت، ظرافت و شقاوت آفریده شد؛ یکی از آن قهرمان ابرواقعی و سحرآمیزِ بزرگ کلاسیک. لاول راست میگوید که پلات در شعرهای آخرش با خود یکی میشود؛ بخصوص در اشعار دفاتر «گذر از آب» و «آریل» که خودی یکدست، اما مشترک را به وجود میآورد. در این مجموعه به ویژه در دفتر اخیر، تجربه های روزمره را با اکسیر اسطوره به احساس و اشتراک عام مبدل میکندا. شربیانی
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  • Duane
    January 1, 1970
    What do I think? I honestly don't know. My favorite poems were Elm, The Moon and the Yew Tree, and Edge. I admit that Sylvia Plath's poetry may be beyond my ability to fullly understand. I have The Collected Poems, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1982, on my to-read shelf. Maybe the more I read the better I will understand. There is an aura about Sylvia Plath that I find fascinating. Her writing is so unique, so different from anything else, you can't help being drawn to it, like a moth to a fla What do I think? I honestly don't know. My favorite poems were Elm, The Moon and the Yew Tree, and Edge. I admit that Sylvia Plath's poetry may be beyond my ability to fullly understand. I have The Collected Poems, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1982, on my to-read shelf. Maybe the more I read the better I will understand. There is an aura about Sylvia Plath that I find fascinating. Her writing is so unique, so different from anything else, you can't help being drawn to it, like a moth to a flame.
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  • Tara
    January 1, 1970
    “Cold glass, how you insert yourselfBetween myself and myself.I scratch like a cat.” These poems are jagged, visceral, and very, very raw. They’re angry and bruised, “extravagant, like torture.” And they are frequently charged with a dark, mirthless laughter. After all, “there is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” Or so Camus once said.As a total poetry novice, I might be way off base with some of my impressions—I didn’t even come close to understanding everything I read. But I do kno “Cold glass, how you insert yourselfBetween myself and myself.I scratch like a cat.” These poems are jagged, visceral, and very, very raw. They’re angry and bruised, “extravagant, like torture.” And they are frequently charged with a dark, mirthless laughter. After all, “there is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” Or so Camus once said.As a total poetry novice, I might be way off base with some of my impressions—I didn’t even come close to understanding everything I read. But I do know that she shared some of her deepest, most intense feelings with me. She made me absorb them. She forced me to feel them too. Plath’s depression had claws. “There is the sunlight, playing its blades,Bored hoodlum in a red room.” You know, her own dangerous radiance felt somehow similar...
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  • Samadrita
    January 1, 1970
    It probably won't be right to draw comparisons between the Sylvia Plath who wrote Mad Girl's Love Song during her time at Smith's and the Sylvia Plath of Ariel. There's a world of difference between a Sylvia merely mourning lost love and a bitter, lonesome, vengeful, depressed Sylvia trying to live out the last vestiges of a tumultuous life by seeking a form of catharsis through these poems. And, indeed, a very personal set of poems these are. It took me a while to get through this book not only It probably won't be right to draw comparisons between the Sylvia Plath who wrote Mad Girl's Love Song during her time at Smith's and the Sylvia Plath of Ariel. There's a world of difference between a Sylvia merely mourning lost love and a bitter, lonesome, vengeful, depressed Sylvia trying to live out the last vestiges of a tumultuous life by seeking a form of catharsis through these poems. And, indeed, a very personal set of poems these are. It took me a while to get through this book not only because you cannot breeze through poetry as if it were a piece of fiction. But because my obsession with Daddy, Lady Lazarus and The Applicant got in the way of my progress with the remaining poems. I think I have read the 3 at least 20 times each since the day I picked up Ariel. Merely trying to imagine the ways, in which this lady could have further overwhelmed the literary world had she lived a full life, gives me goosebumps.Who would have thought that cutting your thumb on a chopping board could transform into exquisite poetry?A million stars.
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  • Jon(athan) Nakapalau
    January 1, 1970
    Haunting and honest - a scalpel that cuts so deep and quick you don't even feel it.
  • Asghar Abbas
    January 1, 1970
    I picked this up last night, wanting to read just one poem, The Moon and the Yew Tree specifically, but I ended up reading all of them, the entire book. I won't pretend to understand what most of her poems were about, but they left me in goosebumps and ashiver. I enjoyed them. What a mind, what a mind. Utterly glorious. Bane of her existence and yet because of its blackness she still exists today. Sublime work.I wish she had written more novels too. Her poetic prose and timings are undeniable. R I picked this up last night, wanting to read just one poem, The Moon and the Yew Tree specifically, but I ended up reading all of them, the entire book. I won't pretend to understand what most of her poems were about, but they left me in goosebumps and ashiver. I enjoyed them. What a mind, what a mind. Utterly glorious. Bane of her existence and yet because of its blackness she still exists today. Sublime work.I wish she had written more novels too. Her poetic prose and timings are undeniable. Read it. Addendum : as I was reading this it dawned on me her poems are undeniably Gothic, weird this didn't occur to me before. Her every poem makes me suck in my breath. It is hardly breaking news that she was a good poet but such terrific words, I don't even want to imagine the insides of her terrible terrible mind.
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  • 7jane
    January 1, 1970
    A collection released two years after her death, written in a grand burst of creativity just before death... I had to get this mainly because of the cover, but I can say that though I have the 'all poems' book, having this separately was worth it....And I a smiling womanI am only thirty.And like that cat I have nine times to die...(from "Lady Lazarus")There are so many themes I could get from here: colors (red, white, black, etc.), moods (uncertainty, calm, quiet joy, being distant), and subject A collection released two years after her death, written in a grand burst of creativity just before death... I had to get this mainly because of the cover, but I can say that though I have the 'all poems' book, having this separately was worth it....And I a smiling womanI am only thirty.And like that cat I have nine times to die...(from "Lady Lazarus")There are so many themes I could get from here: colors (red, white, black, etc.), moods (uncertainty, calm, quiet joy, being distant), and subjects (motherhood, marriage expectations, mornings, the "still alive" after another suicide attempt, feverishness, something that reads like a nightmare, death-waiting, a solitary autumn walk, children with balloons...), and nature (bees, flowers, moon, night, sheep, trees..)Some poems were difficult to open, difficult to find their meaning, but that just means repeated readings might open them. But the best poem here is the very intense RAEG of "Daddy", that feels like your head knocking against some sudden hard surface, the language dancing on repeat around certain words, finally ending in what feeling like a shout mixed with rage-and-triumphant-joy - it is a jumping point with an exclamation mark!(There's even a small echo of it in "Little Fugue", I feel.)This does have a slight feel of 'last collection ever', even if not so intended. But it feels honest, and like her. I don't see myself wanting to interpret each poem here (though the themes above might be a little), but the moods seem so clear even in the poems I can't open yet. This is a quick read, yet at the same time not, since I feel rereads are ahead. Yet for a last collection, it feel like a perfect collection.
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  • Whitney Atkinson
    January 1, 1970
    I'm wanting to get into more poetry, but I have to classify books of poetry in two categories: poems I understood, and poems I didn't. The majority of these poems went over my head. I saw in a previous review that Plath writes very personally, which I suppose is what went wrong here. There were so many abstract references and just being plain honest, 80% of these poems I just had no clue what she was trying to communicate, other than the fact that she wanted to die. Although I didn't grasp most I'm wanting to get into more poetry, but I have to classify books of poetry in two categories: poems I understood, and poems I didn't. The majority of these poems went over my head. I saw in a previous review that Plath writes very personally, which I suppose is what went wrong here. There were so many abstract references and just being plain honest, 80% of these poems I just had no clue what she was trying to communicate, other than the fact that she wanted to die. Although I didn't grasp most of the poems in this collection, I did really enjoy a few: Sheep in the Fog, Lady Lazarus, Tulips, and The Rival. I was a much bigger fan of The Bell Jar than I am her poetry.
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  • Steven Godin
    January 1, 1970
    Stunned.Destroyed.Took the wind out of my sails,and the light out of my eyes.Not wanting to curse but fuck me! could she write! As for "Daddy" what heart crushing despair.
  • Lotte
    January 1, 1970
    My favourite poems out of this collection: Lady Lazarus, Tulips and Death & Co.
  • Sara
    January 1, 1970
    This was very up and down. A lot of the poems went right over my head, but a few I enjoyed, including Lady Lazarus, The Rival and The Moon and the Yew Tree. Of them all, I think Lady Lazarus had the most ‘pull’ in that it’s quite deeply emotive in its portrayal of wanting to be dead and the mixture of emotions that comes with this. It was very personal, and there’s no doubt Sylvia Plath has a way with words. For that poem alone, I pulled this up to three stars. I’m just not sure that for the mos This was very up and down. A lot of the poems went right over my head, but a few I enjoyed, including Lady Lazarus, The Rival and The Moon and the Yew Tree. Of them all, I think Lady Lazarus had the most ‘pull’ in that it’s quite deeply emotive in its portrayal of wanting to be dead and the mixture of emotions that comes with this. It was very personal, and there’s no doubt Sylvia Plath has a way with words. For that poem alone, I pulled this up to three stars. I’m just not sure that for the most part, Plath’s words are my kind of words. I’m not a big poem fan, and felt next to no connection with any of the other poems. In particular, I think I struggle with writing that’s far removed from the literal. Metaphors, similes, they all make me glaze over a bit and these poems are rife with them. Many around the subject of dying and death (understandable given Plath’s history). I really need to find me some poems that are more straight-to-the-point and less fiddly.
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  • Ammar
    January 1, 1970
    Definitely contain some of the best poems by Sylvia Plath. The one I most enjoyed was Lady Lazarus.
  • Renee Godding
    January 1, 1970
    "I know the bottom, she says. I know it with my great tap root: It is what you fear. I do not fear it: I have been there..." 5/5 stars Sylvia Plath has been, and probably always will be, a poet whom words hits me harder than many others’ ever will. Many of the poems in this collection are very familiar to me: I’ve shed tears over them, adored them, resented them, analyzed them to death and absorbed their every message in my heart over the course of years now. However, this was my first time rea "I know the bottom, she says. I know it with my great tap root: It is what you fear. I do not fear it: I have been there..." 5/5 stars Sylvia Plath has been, and probably always will be, a poet whom words hits me harder than many others’ ever will. Many of the poems in this collection are very familiar to me: I’ve shed tears over them, adored them, resented them, analyzed them to death and absorbed their every message in my heart over the course of years now. However, this was my first time reading this collection as a whole, as opposed to fragmented pieces over time. My experience with the entire collection was simultaneously very familiar and yet a little different. I got to revisit some of my old favorites, which still haven’t lost their magic over me. I’d love to explain why I love each and every one of them, and what they mean to me, however, I’m choosing to only mention some of them briefly. Most poetry is best experienced “blind” yourself, and if you are interested in reading some analyses, there are many out there that do a way better job than I ever could. If you want me to, I’d much rather direct any of you who are interested there, than do a butch-job Some of my favorites included in this collection are: - Lady Lazarus (possibly Plath’s most famous poem, and one of my all-time favorites)- The Moon and the Yew-tree (again: one of my all-time favorite poems)- Elm- Daddy- Paralytic- Edge (most likely the last poem Plath ever wrote before her death)All of these are amazing poems by themselves, but reading the collection as a whole did in a way help me understand a bit more about Sylvia Plath as a person, which helps you understand her work better. Although the collection isn’t organized chronologically, I couldn’t help but paint a picture of some of her major life events whilst reading, which added an extra layer to her work. Would I recommend it?Absolutely and whole heartedly… Not just to anyone interested in poetry, but to anyone interested in these topics as well. I’m fairly sure I don’t have to explain what these topics are, but just in case you aren’t familiar with Plaths work: (view spoiler)[ depression, suicide, family/motherhood, grief and loss of loved ones, miscarriage (hide spoiler)] Please, decide for yourself if you’re comfortable reading about these topics at the current place you may be in.
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  • Edward
    January 1, 1970
    Sylvia Plath had a way of rendering things mysterious and disturbing, compelling you to read each poem again and again to unlock the meaning. Compared to The Colossus, Ariel feels a little more mature, a little less concerned with the world, and a lot more fixated on death, specifically, suicide. These beautiful poems are sometimes difficult to read.
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  • Connie G
    January 1, 1970
    The restored edition of Ariel is the group of poems that Sylvia Plath left as a manuscript at the time of her death by suicide in 1963. The originally published Ariel was edited by her former husband, Ted Hughes, who substituted some of her other poems written in the last months of her life. The forward by their daughter, Frieda Hughes, discusses the strengths and weaknesses of each grouping of poems, trying to be fair to each parent.The poems in Ariel are brilliant and powerful, but often sad, The restored edition of Ariel is the group of poems that Sylvia Plath left as a manuscript at the time of her death by suicide in 1963. The originally published Ariel was edited by her former husband, Ted Hughes, who substituted some of her other poems written in the last months of her life. The forward by their daughter, Frieda Hughes, discusses the strengths and weaknesses of each grouping of poems, trying to be fair to each parent.The poems in Ariel are brilliant and powerful, but often sad, since they were written at a devastating time in Plath's life. Plath had suffered from depression for years, but she was at her lowest point after her husband became involved with another woman, and her marriage dissolved. Plath had some near-death experiences in her life--an accidental near-drowning at age 10 and a suicide attempt at age 20. Close to her 30th birthday, she wrote "Lady Lazarus" which begins:"I have done it again.One year in every tenI manage it--"She compares her marriage to the constriction of a snare in "The Rabbit Catcher":"And we, too, had a relationship--Tight wires between us,Pegs too deep to uproot, and a mind like a ringSliding shut on some quick thing,The constriction killing me also."The poems are not all angry or depressing. The love she feels for her children is especially evident in "Nick and the Candlestick". She is holding her infant in the night, imagining the room as a mine lit by a candle:"Love, love,I have hung our cave with roses.With soft rugs--"As dawn is breaking, a visit to her newborn daughter in "Morning Song" brings these tender words:"All night your moth-breathFlickers among the flat pink roses. I wake to listen:A far sea moves in my ear."Plath wrote early in the morning as the sun was rising, before her children awoke. Ariel, the name of her horse, has been compared to the writer's muse. The ending lines of the title poem "Ariel" are exquisite:"The child's cryMelts in the wall.And IAm the arrow,The dew that fliesSuicidal, at one with the driveInto the redEye, the cauldron of morning."
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  • Magdalen
    January 1, 1970
    DyingIs 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. The most accurate thing about Ariel has been said "In these poems Plath becomes herself" I fear that I cannot be objective when I am writing (or talking) about Sylvia Plath because she speaks directly to my heart. I can relate to her poems, I can feel them. Sylvia Plath is raw, brutal and bitter. That's a fact I suppose, right? But you see DyingIs 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. The most accurate thing about Ariel has been said "In these poems Plath becomes herself" I fear that I cannot be objective when I am writing (or talking) about Sylvia Plath because she speaks directly to my heart. I can relate to her poems, I can feel them. Sylvia Plath is raw, brutal and bitter. That's a fact I suppose, right? But you see even in her darkest poem (for me) Lady Lazarus she manages to end the poem with an inspiring, uplifting way. Out of the ashI rise with my red hairAnd I eat men like air. Also, you can listen Sylvia Plath reading it here There are also other poems she reads from the collection of Ariel, look it up if you haven't already. Of course then there's Daddy, Elm, Ariel, A birthday present, Letter in November which I love. Some are bitter some are less dark. I have read those poems so many times and I still can't get enough. Plath is my love and she has shaped me, so yes I can't be objective.
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  • Zanna
    January 1, 1970
    (gorgeous, like 6 stars of gorgeous2 stars lost for outrageously gratuitous use of racial slur and wtf use of the holocaust as symbolic of personal family relationship)
  • Mary
    January 1, 1970
    This is Sylvia. Purging.Hushed and frantic and brutal.Written during the last months of her life…her peak was so so beautiful. Tragic.
  • ilknur a.k.a. iko ◬
    January 1, 1970
    şiiri çeviriden oku → ne demek istemiş diye düşünürken bir daha oku → şiiri ingilizcesinden oku → şiiri ingilizcesinden türkçesi ile karşılaştırarak oku → şiiri internette arat ve yorumları oku + şiire dönüşler yap bu kitabı niye geç bitirdiğim'in birinci nedeni bu. özellikle yorumları okumak zaman alıyor, birden fazla okuduğum için. Aslında önce Bell Jar'ı okumalı, hatta şiirleri ve Bell Jar'ı paralel götürmeli. Çünkü manyağız asdfasdf Çünkü özellikle günlüklerden veya kişisel notlardan/mektup şiiri çeviriden oku → ne demek istemiş diye düşünürken bir daha oku → şiiri ingilizcesinden oku → şiiri ingilizcesinden türkçesi ile karşılaştırarak oku → şiiri internette arat ve yorumları oku + şiire dönüşler yap bu kitabı niye geç bitirdiğim'in birinci nedeni bu. özellikle yorumları okumak zaman alıyor, birden fazla okuduğum için. Aslında önce Bell Jar'ı okumalı, hatta şiirleri ve Bell Jar'ı paralel götürmeli. Çünkü manyağız asdfasdf Çünkü özellikle günlüklerden veya kişisel notlardan/mektuplardan biyografi okuyunca sanatçının eserlerini çok daha net anlıyorum, çünkü sizin bizim gibi 'geldim gördüm yendim' yazmıyor. Bu üç eylemi üç sayfada içi dolu anlatıyorlar, haliyle bağlam yaratılmış oluyor. Bunu en azından şöyle örneklendireyim, 'Yumurta Kayadan İntihar' şiirini webde ilk arattığımda pek bir şey yazmıyor, direk bell jar'da referans veriyordu. Nys birileri ilgili kısmı koymuş, okuyunca kafaya dank ediyor. Yani bu şiirden yola çıkarak şunu diyorum, plath bir gün bir "şey" deneyimlemiş, sonra da onu tıpkı Bell Jar'da (yani hayatında, yani içsesinde) kullandığı sıfatları, mecazları ve cümleleri kullanarak, daha da sembolik bir dille şiire dökmüş. Sizleri bilemem ama ben de yazarım, ve ikiz'im bile yazdıklarımı anlamıyor bazen. Yani ağlamayın, 'mecaz, alegori, sembol ve sürreal anlatım dolu şiir' çevirisi okumaya çalışıyoruz, Orhan Veli değil ki kifayetsiz kalmasına rağmen bi çırpıda anlamasın asdfasdfasdfO yüzden eğer imkan ve diliniz varsa kesinlikle internete ister öğrenci essayları olsun ister hoca tezleri ister forum kullanıcı görüşleri, mutlaka üç beş tane analiz, yorum okuyun. tabi bu arada şiiri ingilizce okumayı unutmayın. çünkü yalnız anlam ve şiiri kavramak adına değil; kafiyelerde, özellikle sessel kafiyelerde (çünkü bu ingilizce) hatunun neler yarattığını görüyorsunuz (özellikle sıkça tekrarladığı eye=I mesela). ya da farklı anlamlara gelebilecek cümleleri görebiliyoruz (" 'I see her back' (Mirror)" veya " 'drip and thicken, tears' (Nick and the Candlestick)" gibi).Artık bu durumu bell jarla paralel götürmeye üşengeçliğiniz razı gelir mi bilemicem çünkü benimki hani, sormama bile gerek yok gelmezdi çünkü asdfasgdfg. Genel temalar belli; ölüm, depresyon, intihar, doğum, anne olmak, eş olmak, kadın olmak (buradan ulusal ve küresel feminist aktivistlere ve feminist kuruluşlarına selamlarımı yolluyorum, onları çok öpüyorum...), tedavileri, ailesi, çağı, persona, cinsellik ve geri kalan tüm problemler. Demeden geçemeceğim, hep insanların neden pastoral şiir yazma ihtiyacı duyduğunu düşünmüşümdür ve şahsım adına zerre hazlanmam okumaktan. Ve başta hastaneler olmak üzere Plath'in bulantı yaşadığı her mekan; ev, plaj, kaplıca, veya basit insan kalabalığı, onun 'pastoral' şiirine dönüşüyor. Yani pastoral şiirin depresifist hali. yani bi nevi. [Ahah, ağaçlar kuşlar böjükler ve lanet çoban çeşmesi optimist pastoral şiir oluyo bu durumda asdfasdf özür dilerim asdfasdf]neyse, okudukça daha net kavramaya başladım tabi, Plath'i önceden ne kadar çok okuduğum pek bir işe yaramadı. şiirin güzel yanı da bu. şiirin bir güzel yanı da, asıl anlamından bambaşka, ve üstelik üzerine yapılan yorumlardan da bambaşka anlayabilmek (mesela 'Oraya Varmak' veya 'Lesbos' gibi). onu didik didik etmek, dipten daha dibe inebilmek.evet, Ariel'i inceleyince (incelemeleri inceleyince :D) gerçekten Plath'in başyapıtı diyebilirim ama benim için: Lady Lazarus, Ölüm A.Ş., Oraya Varmak, Doğum Günü Armağanı, Kız Kurusu, Lesbos. ve en en taparcasına sevdiğim Ayna.bu kitap bir de çeviri yüzünden uzadı. kesinlikle çok güzel çeviri (Lady Godiva'yı tanrıça diye çevirmenin anlamını kavrayamadığım durumlar oldu tabi). sadece ben, şiir çevirisinde önce anlam dediğim için çevirmenin haklı kaygılarının neden olduğu, özellikle kıta ayrımı olan şiirlerde dizelerin (mesela bir kıtanın son dizesi ile bir sonraki kıtanın ilk dizesinin) yerlerinin değiştirilmesinden hoşlanmadım çünkü okumamı zorlaştırdı. çünkü sanki türkçeymiş gibi nefeslenmede bulundum ben, öyle olmuyor. Kafiye, vezin vs kaygısı güttüğünü biliyorum o konuda bi sıkıntı yok ancak sadece bu kaygı uğruna dize sırasının değişmesinden hoşlanmadım.AYRICA yukarıda bahsettiğim eye-I durumu gibi şeyler. Dipnot ya da arka sayfada bi notlar kısmı yok, kimse kusura bakmasın ama böyle şeyler yapılmak zorunda bence. Yoksa ben de çeviririm yani zor değil. ki bana sorarsanız Plath'i, at koşturur gibi cümle cümle okuyun. işte başta böyle olunca bi süre elime dahi almadım kitabı.son bir şey, allaseniz depresyonu geçtim depresifliği üff püfften ibaret sananlar okumasın. sonra 'içim karardı daraldım sıkıldım off puff' deyip ve hatta bi de 1-2 gibi yıldız veriyosunuz, ayar oluyorum, çarpılırsınız aq. ben gidip kişisel gelişim falan okumuyorum mesela, kendim gibi manyakları, hüzünlüleri, varoluşçuları, depresifleri ve romantikleri buluyorum. haliyle şu an bu kitaba yıldızlar saçarken aldığım haz kıvamında ve görebildiğim kadarıyla sanat kaygısıyla verdim, yoksa ne haddime şiir değerlendirmek. adam şiire 1 veriyor ruhunu bunalttı veya anlamadı diye asdfasdfasdegzama üstüne şiğir yazmışlığımız var nasıl sevmemxoxoiko
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  • Michael
    January 1, 1970
    It feels like Sylvia Plath’s life overshadowed her literary value; her autobiographical novel The Bell Jar was like a confessional and people tend to read it for all the juicy bits. Ariel is a collection of poems published posthumously, just a few years after her suicide. It is true that we have Plath to think for advancing the confessional poetry form and exploring topics previously taboo like suicide, mental illness and domestic abuse.I would like to thank Meg Wolitzer’s book Belzhar for pushi It feels like Sylvia Plath’s life overshadowed her literary value; her autobiographical novel The Bell Jar was like a confessional and people tend to read it for all the juicy bits. Ariel is a collection of poems published posthumously, just a few years after her suicide. It is true that we have Plath to think for advancing the confessional poetry form and exploring topics previously taboo like suicide, mental illness and domestic abuse.I would like to thank Meg Wolitzer’s book Belzhar for pushing me into reading more of Sylvia Plath. The book explores a struggling student that was sent to a private school that put her in a special English class. This class spent the semester journaling and reading Plath, most importantly The Bell Jar but also Ariel. That book made me want to re-read The Bell Jar which I loved but instead decided it was time to give her poetry a go.However I am very aware that I don’t know how to review poetry let alone a whole collection, so this is more about my experience with this book. I feel like I am becoming a better reader but if you ask me to read out loud I am going to struggle. So I decided this is an issue I needed to work on and I read Ariel to my wife (she read some of it to me as well). This may seem like a romantic and intimate thing to do with your partner but Plath has a way of killing any sexy moods.I loved the experience but I am struck with a sense that Sylvia Plath might have been a poor choice to begin with. She has a very strong sense of imagery and plays a lot with metaphors; some of which I picked up on but there was some stuff that went over my head. Poetry is meant to be read out aloud and I thought this would help with my understanding as well as develop my skills. However I found it extremely difficult to work out punctuation in these poems. Some sentences span over a few stanzas but my natural impulse was to pause after ever line.Having said that, this was a wonderful experience and while the poems are often dark and depressing I am glad I shared this moment with my wife. Ariel kind of reminds me of those people on the internet that overshare about their lives and you can’t help but be glued to what they write even if it annoys you. Sometimes I think, that is too much information but Sylvia Plath seems to get to the heart of that raw emotion.Sylvia Plath was an incredibly intelligent and complex woman; I can’t help being fascinated by her. I want to learn more about her life, and understand the emotion behind her writing. Take for example her poem “Daddy”; there is this anger toward her father as well as some holocaust imagery that I just want to understand. I am going to have to find a biography on Plath’s life because I think this places a big part in her writing. Can anyone recommend me a good biography?This review originally appeared on my blog: http://literary-exploration.com/2014/...
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  • Chris_P
    January 1, 1970
    I am inhabited by a cry.Nightly, it flaps outLooking, with its hooks, for something to love I opened it just to get a glimpse, only an idea of Sylvia Plath's poetry and man, was I hooked! Her words grabbed me by the neck and dragged me all the way, intoxicating me with bitterness, irony and hard-boiled truth. At times I'd get this feeling of "age", this smell of a time before the 20th century, and then I'd come across a poem like Lesbos and receive the "slap-in-the-face" treatment. It was a jou I am inhabited by a cry.Nightly, it flaps outLooking, with its hooks, for something to love I opened it just to get a glimpse, only an idea of Sylvia Plath's poetry and man, was I hooked! Her words grabbed me by the neck and dragged me all the way, intoxicating me with bitterness, irony and hard-boiled truth. At times I'd get this feeling of "age", this smell of a time before the 20th century, and then I'd come across a poem like Lesbos and receive the "slap-in-the-face" treatment. It was a journey into the depths of a troubled mind, made in the dead of the night and, although some may disagree, there is no better time than that for such journeys. The cometsHave such a space to cross,Such coldness, forgetfullnessSo your gestures flake off-Warm and human, then their pink lightBleeding and peelingThrough the black amnesias of heaven.Why am I givenThese lamps, these planetsFalling like blessings, like flakesSix-sided, white On my eyes, my lips, my hairTouching and melting.Nowhere.
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  • Vanessa
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars I find poetry hard to review. I'm not much of a poet myself: I dabble now and again but I wouldn't call myself one. I don't feel like I have enough knowledge of the craft to fully appreciate poetry, and so I can't really comment on how good it is. Sylvia Plath is a poet I do like, but I don't love all of her poems. This collection in particular was a little bit of a mixed bag, but I feel like I'll appreciate it more and more on subsequent readings - and I will most definitely be return 3.5 stars I find poetry hard to review. I'm not much of a poet myself: I dabble now and again but I wouldn't call myself one. I don't feel like I have enough knowledge of the craft to fully appreciate poetry, and so I can't really comment on how good it is. Sylvia Plath is a poet I do like, but I don't love all of her poems. This collection in particular was a little bit of a mixed bag, but I feel like I'll appreciate it more and more on subsequent readings - and I will most definitely be returning to it. The majority of the poems have a strong focus on death, at least for me, which does not make for light reading. I think with a different headspace I will find a lot more to love in this collection. If you are looking to get into poetry, I would say Plath is a good place to start, as her poetry is more accessible than most. I'd read The Bell Jar first though.
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  • Bel Rodrigues
    January 1, 1970
    Deus é mulher.
  • April
    January 1, 1970
    Plath astonishes with her grasp on words. What more can I say about her? I've already filled plenty of spaces praising this wondrous woman. Each poem is a breath of fresh air.'Your handful of notes; / The clear vowels rise like balloons.''My bones hold a stillness, the / Fields melt my heart.' 'They threaten / To let me through to a haven / Starless and fatherless, a dark water.''A living doll, everywhere you look. / It can sew, it can cook / It can talk, talk, talk.' 'Out of the ash / I rise wi Plath astonishes with her grasp on words. What more can I say about her? I've already filled plenty of spaces praising this wondrous woman. Each poem is a breath of fresh air.'Your handful of notes; / The clear vowels rise like balloons.''My bones hold a stillness, the / Fields melt my heart.' 'They threaten / To let me through to a haven / Starless and fatherless, a dark water.''A living doll, everywhere you look. / It can sew, it can cook / It can talk, talk, talk.' 'Out of the ash / I rise with my red hair / And I eat men like air.' 'While / From the bottom of the pool, fixed stars / Govern a life.' 'I do not fear it: I have been there.' 'I am terrified by this dark thing / That sleeps in me; / All day I feel its soft, feathery turnings, its malignity.''These lamps, these planets / Falling like blessings''I am nobody; I have nothing to do with explosions.' With fiery intensity Plath - again - manages to use the personal trinkets of her haunted psyche to weave the most elegant and ambitious of poems. I really can't say enough about her; her words persist in resonating deep within me to this day, which I can only take to be an indicator of her immeasurable skill as a writer. Reading 'Edge' still gives me the shivers, even today. (Read for poetry club - June 2013)
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  • Harley
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 Stars.Poetry isn't really my thing. I've barely ever willingly read poetry but after The Bell Jar, I had to read this.So far, my experience with Sylvia Plath is an odd one; she seems to send me into a state of dazed delirium, I could be handed anything written by her and even if the context makes no sense to me, her writing alone just pulls me under in such a unique way. Some of these poems I understood and clicked with, others went over my head but I suppose that's just one of the things ab 4.5 Stars.Poetry isn't really my thing. I've barely ever willingly read poetry but after The Bell Jar, I had to read this.So far, my experience with Sylvia Plath is an odd one; she seems to send me into a state of dazed delirium, I could be handed anything written by her and even if the context makes no sense to me, her writing alone just pulls me under in such a unique way. Some of these poems I understood and clicked with, others went over my head but I suppose that's just one of the things about poetry; you could reread the same poem over and over again, and every single time find something new, or find nothing at all.For me, did this beat The Bell Jar? No. But it was pretty amazing, and as I said at the end of my Bell Jar review, I'll be reading everything she wrote because it's all so fascinating and beautiful.
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  • averybird
    January 1, 1970
    O God, I am not like youIn your vacuous black,Stars stuck all over, bright stupid confetti.Eternity bores me,I never wanted it.- from Years Extraordinary, isn’t she? I was captivated by the poems in Ariel and am in agreement with others who view this collection as a masterpiece. For even when I came across a poem I didn’t fully understand, I could still sense the power within the words of Sylvia Plath which are precise, explosive, darkly beautiful.In the afterword to Ariel author biographer Hal O God, I am not like youIn your vacuous black,Stars stuck all over, bright stupid confetti.Eternity bores me,I never wanted it.- from Years Extraordinary, isn’t she? I was captivated by the poems in Ariel and am in agreement with others who view this collection as a masterpiece. For even when I came across a poem I didn’t fully understand, I could still sense the power within the words of Sylvia Plath which are precise, explosive, darkly beautiful.In the afterword to Ariel author biographer Hal Hager notes the “paradoxical union of the self-destructiveness and creative energy that was the core of (Plath’s) personality”. This is especially evident in poems such as Lady Lazarus or Tulips that recall personal trials with attempted suicide or hospitalization. Plath’s metaphors in general are frequently stark; for example, her use of Nazi imagery in Daddy or the way she seeks out the hurt within an otherwise delicate thing, as in the poem Poppies in July:Little poppies, little hell flames,Do you do no harm?You flicker. I cannot touch you.I put my hands among the flames. Nothing burns.And yet there are glimpses of love and joy in her poems too. Sylvia Plath drew inspiration from motherhood and wrote some heartwarming poems to and about her children, for example You're and Morning Song with its most endearing of opening lines (“Love set you going like a fat gold watch.”) In Balloons she captures the sweetness of the “guileless and clear /oval soul animals” floating about the house after the holidays. Even in Nick and the Candlestick, a poem for her son that is more typical Plath in its imagery, there is a touching tenderness. She writes to her son:O love, how did you get here?O embryoRemembering, even in sleep, Your crossed position.The blood blooms cleanIn you, ruby.Just prior to her death in 1962 Sylvia Plath took up beekeeping, a fact which I found fascinating. Her father Otto Plath had been a well-known entomologist at Boston University and was considered a bee expert in his field, which likely accounted for some of her interest. This new pastime formed the foundation for a series of bee poems clustered at the center of Ariel. The poems are quirky, unconventional, and at times humorous, and show another facet to her personality. They may be my favorites of the entire book. Here she hesitates at what she has just done in The Arrival of the Bee Box:I lay my ear to furious Latin.I am not a Caesar.I have simply ordered a box of maniacs.They can be sent back.They can die, I need feed them nothing, I am the owner.In another passage she expresses so perfectly the curiosity of a woman trying to relate to her all female hive of bees (“Will they hate me/ These women who only scurry/ Whose news is the open cherry, the open clover?”). The entire collection left me in full appreciation of the genius that was Sylvia Plath. It is a pity to think we lost her at only 30 years of age to the suicidal depression that had haunted her for most of her life. Highly recommended for all lovers of poetry.
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  • Malak Alrashed
    January 1, 1970
    I didn't read these poems. I studied them, I draw on the book and dreamed about Sylvia Plath world. You see I have been searching for the kind of poems that will destroy me and rebuild me again. That's what Sylvia did to me. She is not a Designed to Impress kind of writer and yet she'll use a lot of Greek Myths and history metaphors. She'll walk you in a flat land of words, not a pretentious stony one with lots of flashy words. No, just smooth words and yet you will use your dictionary quite oft I didn't read these poems. I studied them, I draw on the book and dreamed about Sylvia Plath world. You see I have been searching for the kind of poems that will destroy me and rebuild me again. That's what Sylvia did to me. She is not a Designed to Impress kind of writer and yet she'll use a lot of Greek Myths and history metaphors. She'll walk you in a flat land of words, not a pretentious stony one with lots of flashy words. No, just smooth words and yet you will use your dictionary quite often and add up few new words of hers. Sylvia Plath, God, Sylvia Plath. What a soul, what a poet.I've read her Novel The Bell Jar and her Unabridged Journals last year and I admit it that I couldn't quite fathom her genius that much. But after reading her poems, everything made sense. I could feel the dilemmas of Sylvia; the gigantic gap between the longings of her soul and the desperate reality of womanhood, her dead father and infidel husband.Sylvia Poetry is mysterious and savage, and her imagination goes beyond time and places. She would talk, for example, as if she's a Jew victim in the Second War and then later she'd become an object, at last, she'd become some sort of God or an evil Satan. You will not feel the headache of the time/personality switchings because she writes so well, so eloquently. What you will feel, though, is the heaviness of Sylvia's troubled soul.It was very hard to read these poems and not to imagine what Sylvia did to herself after a few days of publishing Ariel. Reading her poems felt -for me at least- like going into her inside and discovering her. I felt like I'm inside a dark forest, I saw some rivers and heard the birds singing but that was far away. I was deprived of the light and I could only feel the darkness of my surroundings.
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