Russian /English << >>English /Russian
Deutsch/English << >>English only

Sylvia Plath
1932 1963
( )

BOOKS on-line



Sylvia Plath was born in Massachussets in 1932. She became one of the most influencial poets of America. Sylvias childhood was one of struggle, bitterness and strife. Her father, a distinguished professor, died when Sylvia was only 10. Her mother struggled to raise Sylvia and her brother by becoming a medical-secretarial professor at Boston University. She began to write poetry when she was at age 8. In her poem, "Daddy," she wrote about the love/hate relationship between a daughter and a father. In "Medusa," she wrote about the dysfunctional relationship between a mother and her daughter. Her works reflected her painful feelings of loneliness and despair. Many of her works dealt with womens issues.Sylvia was an astute scholar. She entered Smith College in 1950 on a scholarship. She was always a straight A student. In her early teens, she won many awards and prizes for her publications. Despite all her accomplishments in literature, her young life was marred by depression. Much of her grief stemmed from her fathers death. During the summer, perior to her junior year at Smith College she was guest editor at Mademoiselle Magazine. It was at this time she first attempted suicide by swallowing a massive dose of sleeping pills. Sylvia later described this dark episode in her 1963 book, The Bell Jar.After receiving electro shock therapy, she resumed her literary career. She graduated with honors from Smith College. She won a Fulbright scholarship at Cambridge, England. In 1956 she married English Ted Hughes. Together, they had two children. Apparently, their marriage crumbled and ended in divorce. Sylvia ended up in the winter of 62---63 in London with two children in a small flat. From there her health took a plunge and she suffered from the flu, depression, and exhaustion. She finally committed suicide on the morning of Februrary 11, 1963 when she stuck her head in the oven. Lots of things contributed to Sylvias depression. For one thing, her fathers death from lung cancer affected her much. She was a perfectionist. From an early age, Sylvia strove to be the very best. She was an A student and her perfectionism contributed much to her state of deep depression and despair. Her major contribution to literature came in 1963 when her autobiographical fiction, The Bell Jar was published.

Mary's Song
Mad girl's love song

Mary's Song

The Sunday lamb cracks in its fat
The fat
Sacrifices its opacity...

A window, holy gold.
The fire makes it procious,
The same fire

Melting the tallow heretics
Ousting the Jews.
Their thick palls float

Over the cicatrix of Poland, burnt-out
They do not die.

Gray birds obsess my heart,
Mouth ash, ash of eye.
They settle. On the high

That empties one man into space.
The ovens glowed like heavens, incandescent.

It is a heart
This hilocaust I walk in
O golden child the world will kill and eat.

Mad girl's love song

A villanele

I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)
The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,
And arbitrary thickness gallops in.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)
God topples from the sky, hell's fires fade:
Exit seraphim and Satan's men:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
I fancied you'd return the way you said,
But I grew old and I forgot your name.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)
I should have loved a thunderbird instead;
At least when spring comes they roar back again,
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

BOOKS on-line






2000 Elena and Yacov Feldman