Am I fan of Sylvia Plath? I don't know - I can't say. And perhaps this post will be oddly amusing to some of you because of that. Why would I write a post about a poet and author that I don't know how I feel about? Well, because in some ways I can't help but feel intensely connected to her.
When I read The Bell Jar, I hated it. Perhaps one day I will revisit it and discover that it holds a strong truth for me. Perhaps I read it at the wrong time, or reading about depression was too true and I just found it bleak and colourless. I don't know. But when I read about her, I feel connected to her soul. Some of her poems resonate with me strongly.
Here are a few pieces of her writings that mean a lot to me personally:
The prince leans to the girl in scarlet heels,
Her green eyes slant, hair flaring in a fan
Of silver as the rondo slows; now reels
Begin on tilted violins to span
The whole revolving tall glass palace hall
Where guests slide gliding into light like wine;
Rose candles flicker on the lilac wall
Reflecting in a million flagons' shine,
And glided couples all in whirling trance
Follow holiday revel begun long since,
Until near twelve the strange girl all at once
Guilt-stricken halts, pales, clings to the prince
As amid the hectic music and cocktail talk
She hears the caustic ticking of the clock.
There is this white wall, above which the sky creates itself-
Infinite, green, utterly untouchable.
Angels swim in it, and the stars, in indifference also.
They are my medium.
The sun dissolves on this wall, bleeding its lights.
A grey wall now, clawed and bloody.
Is there no way out of the mind?
Steps at my back spiral into a well.
There are no trees or birds in this world,
There is only sourness.
This red wall winces continually:
A red fist, opening and closing,
Two grey, papery bags-
This is what i am made of, this, and a terror
Of being wheeled off under crosses and rain of pietas.
On a black wall, unidentifiable birds
Swivel their heads and cry.
There is no talk of immorality among these!
Cold blanks approach us:
They move in a hurry.
For anyone who wants to know more about her life, or already does, I read this interesting article about her daughter recently about the impact of the controversy surrounding her parents:
Poems have been obtained from All Poetry, and quotes from Goodreads.
Have you previously read any work from Sylvia Plath? What do you know about her? Do you have any authors or poets you connect to, even if you don't like a lot of their work?