Post details: Sylvia Plath


Permalink 12:30:27 am, by Email , 464 words   English (CA)
Categories: Arts And Culture

Sylvia Plath

October 27th, 1932 - February 11th 1963

"Dying is an art like everything else, I do it exceptionally well."

By the age of five Sylvia Plath was already writing full poems. At the age of eight she had one of her poems published in the Boston Herald. As a teen she was already a seasoned , and veteran writer. Sylvia's short stories were being published by teen magazines of the day, and she won through a magazine fiction contest two Smith poetry prizes. At this time Sylvia attended Smith College on a scholarship.

While still a student Sylvia obtained the position of guest editor for Mademoiselle magazine. While she is described as a sensitive, intelligent person, it should also be noted that she was in turmoil, and during this period made her first suicide attempt.

Sylvia underwent both psychotherapy, and electric shock treatments.

Graduating from Smith College in 1955 she continued with her pursuit of academic excellence at Newnham College, Cambridge England on a Fulbright fellowship.

Sylvia married fellow poet Ted Hughes in 1956. She was committed to making her marriage to Ted work, but he was moody, and adulterous, and eventually in 1962 he abandoned her, and their two young children.

Throughout this emotional turmoil Sylvia kept writing, her talents being amply displayed in her book of poetry The Colossus, and her semi autobiographical book, The Bell Jar.

It was very cold in London, England during the winter of 1963 where Sylvia, and her two children lived in a tiny, dark flat. While the little family were sick with the flu, Ted meanwhile was playing around with a young lady in Spain.

One night in February Sylvia left some food, and milk for her children in their darkened bedroom while they slept. She opened their window, and sealed off their bedroom door with towels, and tape.

In the kitchen, Sylvia took some sleeping pills, and proceeded to sit on the floor with her head by the oven door. The gas turned on full.

In the morning she was found by her nurse, at her side a suicide note that read, "Please call Dr. Horder." At the age of 30, Sylvia Plath had passed on.....

After her death a collection of Sylvia's poetry was published, Winter Trees, Ariel, and Crossing The Water astounded the literary world. And it is for these that she is truly honoured, and remembered.

At the time of her death Sylvia's divorce had not been finalised, and the rights to all her works went to Ted. In 1981 he published The Collected Poems, and Sylvia received a posthumous Pulitzer Prize.

Sylvia is buried in the new cemetery adjoining the Church of St. Thomas Becket in Heptonstall, a small hilltop village above the town of Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire, England.

For Andy.

See also:

Italian Poet Gabriele D'Annunzio

Thomas Chatterton



Comment from: khlari [Visitor] ·
Sylvia, you could say, brought Andy and I together. We started chatting about Sylvia Plath in class twenty years ago or so, and still are!
PermalinkPermalink 03/26/07 @ 09:44
Comment from: Admin [Member] Email ·
Khlari -> Nice to see you here .. :) I was introduced to Sylvia by Andy only a few months back, and find her to be utterly fascinating! It was fun to write about her.
PermalinkPermalink 03/26/07 @ 14:56
Comment from: Andy [Visitor] ·
Yes, there's a story there. Khlari is quite right, we would have a substantial hole in our friendship, if indeed we had a friendship at all, if Sylvia hadn't been involved at the start by way of establishing the link between us that has grown ever-stronger. At the core of our friendship, there is a debt to Sylvia's life and work. Strange but true. It's not like we talk about her all the time, but she's definitely a presence...

I've featured this wonderful introduction to Sylvia in my latest blog round-up, and am very honoured to have it dedicated to me. I didn't know I'd done the lady a service by introducing her to you, but I have to say I can see that her life and work would be very interesting for you, Sue. There's even a Fortean element to her and Ted's relationship and lives - you know they used Ouija boards to commune with the dead? And that Ted claimed once to have seen a UFO, though that is heavily played down and rarely referenced? x
PermalinkPermalink 03/27/07 @ 04:09
Comment from: khlari [Visitor] ·
Plus I used to live in Hebden Bridge, and Andy now not far from Heptonstall either...definite pull there....And her interest in the supernatural...her fascination with Isis, and other goddesses and pagan mythologies, and mentions of ghosts in more than one story- the one I love is the one from Todmorden in 'All the Dead Dears'.....
PermalinkPermalink 03/27/07 @ 10:02
Comment from: khlari [Visitor] ·
Thanks Sue, and nice to be know you'll have to read it all now and will become hooked!
PermalinkPermalink 03/27/07 @ 10:03
Comment from: Admin [Member] Email ·
Andy -> Thank you! And I'm very happy to hear you enjoyed this write up!

Khlari -> I'm really looking forward to learning more about Sylvia, and I would love to read The Bell Jar. Interesting how you both are drawn to her in physical proximity as well. I want to visit, hopefully we are planning for 2009!
PermalinkPermalink 03/27/07 @ 18:50
Comment from: Jim [Visitor] ·
Very good and well put together article.

Found a very good article on mind machines which caught my attention here.
PermalinkPermalink 04/17/07 @ 12:36
Comment from: Admin [Member] Email ·
Jim -> Thank you for your kind words regarding this article.
PermalinkPermalink 04/17/07 @ 13:44



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