Poetry: Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath self-portrait circa 1951.

Sylvia Plath self-portrait c. 1951.

Sylvia Plath (October 27, 1932 - February 11, 1963) was an American poet, novelist, short story writer, and essayist. Most famous as a poet, Plath is also known for The Bell Jar, her semi-autobiographical novel detailing her struggle with clinical depression.

Plath, Anne Sexton, and Robert Lowell are given credit for starting the genre of confessional poetry. Since her suicide, Sylvia Plath has risen to iconic status and is considered to be one of the best poets of her generation.

Here is one of my favourites by Plath.

Soliloquy of the Solipsist

I?
I walk alone;
The midnight street
Spins itself from under my feet;
When my eyes shut
These dreaming houses all snuff out;
Through a whim of mine
Over gables the moon's celestial onion
Hangs high.
I
Make houses shrink
And trees diminish
By going far; my look's leash
Dangles the puppet-people
Who, unaware how they dwindle,
Laugh, kiss, get drunk,
Nor guess that if I choose to blink
They die.
I
When in good humor,
Give grass its green
Blazon sky blue, and endow the sun
With gold;
Yet, in my wintriest moods, I hold
Absolute power
To boycott any color and forbid any flower
To be.
I
Know you appear
Vivid at my side,
Denying you sprang out of my head,
Claiming you feel
Love fiery enough to prove flesh real,
Though it's quite clear
All you beauty, all your wit, is a gift, my dear,
From me.
Published
2006-09-13
Replies
2

Entry Reaction

Reader Comments (2)

  1. Flour replied on #2006-10-27 05:39:00

    Sylvia plath is my favourite author, she could really put pain into words. Reading her poems can break your heart, or they can help mend it. Ariel...

  2. Tessa Salem replied on #2009-09-07 14:07:25

    I love how this poem hints at the Soliloquist wanting to change the way she views life, but at the end reveals that she is not brave enough to risk the hurt possible by changing her attitude towards human kind, and instead chooses to go on living her incredibly lonely existence.

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