In "Full Fathom Five," her father is depicted as a sea god. An image of the sea is also used in "Contusion," there suggesting a terrible sense of loss and loneliness. She also pulled from her personal life, writing of horse-riding on the English fields, in "Sheep in Fog" and "Ariel. Nature is also manifested in the bright red tulips which jolt the listless Plath from her post-operation stupor, insisting that she return to the world of the living.
Here, nature is a provoker, an instigator - it does not want her to give up. Nature is a ubiquitous theme in Plath's work; it is a potent force that is sometimes unpredictable, but usually works to encourage her creative output. Plath has often been grouped into the confessional movement of poetry. One of the reasons for this classification is that she wrote extensively of her own life, her own thoughts, her own worries. Any great artist both creates his or her art and is created by it, and Plath was always endeavoring to know herself better through her writing.
She tried to come to terms with her personal demons, and tried to work through her problematic relationships. For instance, she tried to understand her ambivalence about motherhood, and tried to vent her rage at her failed marriage.
However, her exploration of herself can also be understood as an exploration of the idea of the self, as it stands opposed to society as a whole and to other people, whom she did not particularly like. Joyce Carol Oates wrote that even Plath's children seemed to be merely the objects of her perception, rather than subjective extensions of herself.
The specifics of Plath's work were drawn from her life, but endeavored to transcend those to ask more universal questions.
Most infamously, Plath imagined her self as a Jew, another wounded and persecuted victim. She also tried to engage with the idea of self in terms of the mind and body dialectic. This conflict - between the self and the world outside - can be used to understand almost all of Plath's poems. Many of Plath's poems deal with the body, in terms of motherhood, wounds, operations, and death. In "Metaphors," she describes how her body does not feel like it is her own; she is simply a "means" towards delivering a child.
In "Tulips" and "A Life," the body has undergone an operation. With the surgery comes an excising of emotion, attachment, connection, and responsibility. The physical cut has resulted in an emotional severing, which is a relief to the depressed woman. It is suggested that she feels more alive as she contemplates her nearly-decapitated thumb, and watches the blood pool on the floor. Suicide, the most profound and dramatic thing one can do to one's own body, is also central to many of her poems. Overall, it is clear that Plath was constantly discerning the relationship between mind and body, and was fascinated with the implications of bodily pain.
Motherhood is a major theme in Plath's work. She was profoundly ambivalent about this prescribed role for women, writing in "Metaphors" about how she felt insignificant as a pregnant woman, a mere "means" to an end. She lamented how grotesque she looked, and expressed her resignation over a perceived lack of options. However, in " Child ," she delights in her child's perception of and engagement with the world. Of course, "Child" ends with the suggestions that she knows her child will someday see the harsh reality of life. Plath did not want her children to be contaminated by her own despair.
Essay about Sylvia Plath's Life and How It Influenced Her Poetry
This fear may also have manifested itself in her last poem, "Edge," in which some critics have discerned a desire to kill her children and take them with her far from the terrors of life. Other poems in her oeuvre express the same tension. Overall, Plath clearly loved her children, but was not completely content in either pregnancy or motherhood. Are there any possible connections between what the poem is saying about the fixed cycle of pregnancy and its form? The woman uses simile to reffer to her age.
She sees herself getting older and the image rises in front of her like a terrible fish. Why does the mirror describes itself as 'The eye of a little gog , four cornered???? The book went on to be published in America in to less glowing reviews. Whilst her craft was generally praised, her writing was viewed as more derivative of other poets. Plath's semi-autobiographical novel, which her mother wished to block, was published in and in the US in I've tried to picture my world and the people in it as seen through the distorting lens of a bell jar".
While visiting Norton, Plath broke her leg skiing, an incident that was fictionalized in the novel.
Sylvia Plath's poetry - Words | Essay Example
She strongly believed in their abilities to be writers and editors, while society forced them to fulfill secretarial roles. It was never published and the manuscript disappeared around Ferretter also claims that the rare books department at Smith College in Massachusetts has a secret copy of the work under seal. He presumes in his book that the draft may lie unfound in a university archive.
It was Plath's publication of Ariel in that precipitated her rise to fame. Robert Lowell 's poetry may have played a part in this shift as she cited Lowell's book Life Studies as a significant influence, in an interview just before her death. Plath's close friend Al Alvarez , who has written about her extensively, said of her later work: "Plath's case is complicated by the fact that, in her mature work, she deliberately used the details of her everyday life as raw material for her art.
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A casual visitor or unexpected telephone call, a cut, a bruise, a kitchen bowl, a candlestick—everything became usable, charged with meaning, transformed. Her poems are full of references and images that seem impenetrable at this distance, but which could mostly be explained in footnotes by a scholar with full access to the details of her life. Plath's poem "Morning Song" from Ariel is regarded as one of the twentieth century's finest poems concerning an artist's freedom of expression. Plath's fellow confessional poet and friend Anne Sexton commented: "Sylvia and I would talk at length about our first suicide, in detail and in depth—between the free potato chips.
Suicide is, after all, the opposite of the poem. Sylvia and I often talked opposites. We talked death with burned-up intensity, both of us drawn to it like moths to an electric lightbulb, sucking on it. She told the story of her first suicide in sweet and loving detail, and her description in The Bell Jar is just that same story. In , the volumes Winter Trees and Crossing the Water were published in the UK, including nine previously unseen poems from the original manuscript of Ariel.
Crossing the Water is full of perfectly realised works. Its most striking impression is of a front-rank artist in the process of discovering her true power. Such is Plath's control that the book possesses a singularity and certainty which should make it as celebrated as The Colossus or Ariel. The Collected Poems , published in , edited and introduced by Ted Hughes, contained poetry written from until her death.
Essays on Sylvia Plath
Plath was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry, posthumously. The poem, composed during Plath's early years at Smith College, is published in Blackbird , the online journal. Plath's letters were published in , edited and selected by her mother Aurelia Plath. The collection, Letters Home: Correspondence — , came out partly in response to the strong public reaction to the publication of The Bell Jar in America. Her adult diaries, starting from her first year at Smith College in , were first published in as The Journals of Sylvia Plath, edited by Frances McCullough, with Ted Hughes as consulting editor.
In , when Smith College acquired Plath's remaining journals, Hughes sealed two of them until February 11, , the 50th anniversary of Plath's death. During the last years of his life, Hughes began working on a fuller publication of Plath's journals. In , shortly before his death, he unsealed the two journals, and passed the project onto his children by Plath, Frieda and Nicholas, who passed it on to Karen V. More than half of the new volume contained newly released material;  the American author Joyce Carol Oates hailed the publication as a "genuine literary event".
Hughes faced criticism for his role in handling the journals: he claims to have destroyed Plath's last journal, which contained entries from the winter of up to her death. In the foreword of the version, he writes, "I destroyed [the last of her journals] because I did not want her children to have to read it in those days I regarded forgetfulness as an essential part of survival. And here you come, with a cup of tea Wreathed in steam.
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The blood jet is poetry, There is no stopping it. You hand me two children, two roses. As Hughes and Plath were legally married at the time of her death, Hughes inherited the Plath estate, including all her written work. He has been condemned repeatedly for burning Plath's last journal, saying he "did not want her children to have to read it.
Plath's gravestone has been repeatedly vandalized by those aggrieved that "Hughes" is written on the stone; they have attempted to chisel it off, leaving only the name "Sylvia Plath. After each defacement, Hughes had the damaged stone removed, sometimes leaving the site unmarked during repair. Morgan's book Monster contained the poem and it was banned, although underground, pirated, feminist editions of the book were published.
In , with Hughes under public attack, a battle raged in the letters pages of The Guardian and The Independent. But I learned my lesson early. In general, my refusal to have anything to do with the Plath Fantasia has been regarded as an attempt to suppress Free Speech [ Where that leaves respect for the truth of her life and of mine , or for her memory, or for the literary tradition, I do not know. Still the subject of speculation and opprobrium in , Hughes published Birthday Letters that year, his own collection of 88 poems about his relationship with Plath.
Hughes had published very little about his experience of the marriage and Plath's subsequent suicide, and the book caused a sensation, being taken as his first explicit disclosure, and it topped best seller charts.