32 Selected Poems of Sylvia Plath

Mr. Pritesh Chakraborty

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Introduction to the genre of confessional poetry.


Reacting to the established, intellectual and academic poetry a new form of poetic expression took shape in Sylvia Plath and she carried the same to England. Poets who were involved in the development and propagation of the same came to be known as Confessional Poets. This group was headed by Robert Lowell and Theodore Roethke. The most prominent theme of the confessional poetry was to glorify the personal and the private, to express their innermost secrets aloud for all to hear. Eliot’s theory of impersonality no longer seemed to be divine word the poets were supposed to follow. Lowell and Ginsberg created a large stir in the construction of poetry. The brew smelt different from the earlier idea of dissociation of ideas made popular by the classical school of English poetry.

Life of Sylvia Plath.


Since we are dealing with autobiographical poetry it will be not wrong to analyze the three most important events in her life which are known to have influenced her poetry. The first is the premature death of her father when she was just eight years old. The second is her separation from her husband, Ted Hughes, who often played the role of her father surrogate and third, her suicide attempts, the first one was unsuccessful at the age of twenty one. Her final and successful attempt at suicide was in her thirtieth year. It is these events that colour her writings all through. Sylvia Plath was born on 27th October, 1932   in   Boston and   died   on   February   11,   1963.   She   studied   at Smith   College and Newham College at the University of Cambridge. She was married to fellow poet Ted Hughes from 1956 until they separated in September 1962. In the opening line of her engaging essay on Sylvia Plath, critic Sandra M. Gilbert explains, ‘Though I never met Sylvia Plath, I can honestly say that I have known her most of my life.’ This could claimed by any avid reader of her poems since they are replete with autobiographical details though shrouded in the usual artistic moulds that transforms raw materials of life into delicious poetry.

Plath is best known for her collections of poems, The Colossus (1960), Ariel (1965), Crossing the Water (1971), Winter Trees (1971). Did you know –

  • When she was in her third year of college where she excelled in academics she was offered the much coveted post of summer guest editor of Mademoiselle magazine in 1955.
  • Plath was awarded the Pulitzer Prize posthumously in 1982. She was the first person to win the Pulitzer posthumously.
  • She had according to Ted Hughes an unfinished novel often referred to as Double Exposure at her death which however has remained untraced since.
  • She won all prizes for creative writing at her college.
  • She had written just one novel called Bell Jar.
  • She had also published a number of prose collections including Letters Home: Correspondence 1950-1963 (1975), Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams: Short Stories, Prose, and Diary Excerpts (1977), The Journals of Sylvia Plath (1982).
  • She also wrote children’s books like The Bed Book (1976), The It-Doesn’t- Matter-Suit (1996), Collected Children’s Stories (UK, 2001), Mrs. Cherry’s Kitchen (2001).
  • Her iconic poem Colossus’s title was changed as many as eight times.

2. Ariel

Critical analysis


The poem was written on October 27, 1962, shortly before her death. It was published posthumously in the eponymous collection in 1965. The title is perhaps based on the horse which Plath used for her morning riding. It has been understood after the testimony of Ted Hughes, as a reaction to her falling off and getting hurt from her horse on one of her early morning rides, however, the poem can be interpreted in a more general context. Of course we could draw a parallel with the spirit with the same name in Shakespeare’s Tempest.


On one level the theme of the poem deals with that of a dawn. On another level, it could mean not just the birth of a new day but a resurrection of one’s soul. The author seems to undergo a struggle which is reflected in the slow progress of the day from the dark of the night. The tone is quite subjective which colours the expression thoroughly. As the theme suggests a tussle between faith and doubt, the tone too shifts from hope to despair and back. The night had stalled all motion. With the break of dawn things start to get out of inertia. The whole world stretches its limbs into a consciousness. The poetess too unfurls her consciousness becoming one with the motion of the nature. The mundane duties of the day jolt the poet into action which she compares with the moribund dew that bravely incinerates itself in the morning warmth.


Though Plath reacted against the academic vein in poetry, her choice of words in this poem talks against the reaction itself. Words like ‘stasis’, ‘substance less’, ‘god’s lioness’, ‘stringencies’ etc. are enough to put a common reader’s vocabulary to test. These words aren’t difficult in themselves but given the nature of subjective introspection involved here they assume more private meanings which might not be similar to the denotative meaning. However, if we could extricate our interest from word meaning and be able to see the music of the words themselves then we could still grasp the general sense to some extent. The soft syllabic hisses of ‘stasis’ and other like constructed words produce an effect of lull which is in consonance with the serenity of the morning. Interestingly, it could be onomatopoeia for the sound with which the dews might rapidly evaporate on the break of dawn. The words carry within them many metaphors and other rhetorical devices which could be discussed in a separate section altogether.


According to the Bible, (Isaiah 29: 1-3, 5-7) Ariel is also Jerusalem, the city where David lived. This lends weight to our assumption that this poem is also an allegory of resurrection. After all Plath had to get up after her fall from the horse and she had to wake up from her sleep in the morning. The images are as stark and immediate as any Plath employs in her poetry. The darkness is well contrasted to the blue. ‘God’s lioness’ is a potent image which shows the dawning of the sun after a dark night. If we look at it from another angle, after Plath had fallen down from her horse she might have had a brief period of unconsciousness. As she came round, the bright day might have had looked like a fierce lioness. This lioness has a reference to the Bible. This refers to the wrath of god. Perhaps it has a reference to the sharp sensation of pain which Plath might have had felt due to the accident. The wrath of the father/god can be related to the loss of her own father who seems to have abandoned her in her childhood. One could hardly fathom the depths of the roots of one’s emotions specially when the author is a poet. Further, the  lane and byways of the open heath are compared with a neck which the poetess cannot catch. The freshness of the metaphor is quite apparent. These ‘splits’ and ‘passes’ have a deep bonhomie with the entire earth that has been named the ‘brown arc’. Though politically incorrect, the berries being compared with the deep dark eyes of a black American are more than apt. Continuing the metaphor, making it perhaps an extended one, she describes the quality the berries. Associated with the berries is the white chocolate. The whiteness of the hand is reflected in the deadness of the hands. In contrast to the passive image of the self against the other active images, Plath imagines herself to an arrow. But the final image of the sun as the cauldron is homely and befits the type of poetry which she writes. Yet this common, everyday or normal image turns uncanny when it passes through the hand of the poetess. A fresh image has been incorporated in the lore of metaphors that have described the sun. The child’s cry that melts in the wall could be a homely as well as an un-homely image. The homely image refers to the way a child wakes up in the morning while the un-homely image could be an abortion where the child’s cry melts in the walls of the womb. Thinking again might take us back to the cry of the orphaned Plath. Again, an unborn poem often dies in the womb of the mind.

The poem written in free verse is apt in communicating the bleakness of the expression. The extreme economy of the words does make the poem appear like a nursery rhyme. This pattern again conveys the biographical essences of her losing her father at the age of eight. Though a child learns nursery rhymes much earlier but in front of the father the child often likes to appear as a young child asking for attention (which our next selection aptly exemplifies).


What Plath writes isn’t something straight forward. The presence of many layers of meanings makes it more promising as a piece of good literature. The personal experience either of a horse ride gone wrong or a simple task as getting up on a morning has been universalized. This is perhaps what good poetry is all about. It sprouts from a personal event and grows into a beautiful plant for all to observe and identify with the same.


Critical analysis–


The poem was first published in the anthology with the namesake in 1960. It contained another forty four poems. The title makes us remember the famous lines from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, “ . . . why , man, he doth bestride this narrow world/ like a colossus.” (I, ii, 135-36.) The reference could be made to legendary bronze statue of Apollo at Rhodes.


The theme of the poem is her mourning for her father. She compares her father with a huge statue, a remnant of a fallen god. In fact it is not the loss of the body of her father that matters to her but the loss of the psychological security. She tries to recover her lost security by trying to tend to the fallen statue. The tone of the poem is that of loss and mourning. The tone is also that of a surprised grief. The poetess is surprised at the enormity of the absence in front of her, whose presence as a ghost nevertheless never fails to tease her.


The poetess is exhausted by her continual efforts to make sense of the figure that stands before her. She tries various means to elicit a response but only gets gibberish in return. Half-satiric, Plath is frustrated at her attempts to understand the facts about the statue. Ironically she says that the statue could be an oracle that hardly speaks. The poetess makes a huge effort to keep the statute in good repair and yet she finds herself to be of insufficient stature to do the same. Perhaps aware of the loss of the roof above us, she marks the sky as her roof. She calls the statue a store house of memories. Yet these memories are scattered everywhere which is certainly not easy to recollect. Commenting upon the uniqueness of the figure the poetess says that it will not be easy to create anything like it. Yet the statue offers shelter to the battered poet or her psyche. The waiting of the poetess for her answers is long and though the dawn has come upon the world the poetess is still at a loss for answers. She seems to have given up and the poem ends at a sad note. She does not expect any new development but seems to have stuck to her job without any reward.

The contrast of words, like ‘pieced’, ‘glued’, ‘jointed’ etc. which are juxtaposed to the mule, pig or the metonymy for birds is quite unique. While the former words refer to deliberate constructions as opposed to nature, the latter words express animal spontaneity. Irony abounds in the comparison of the rubbish that seems to come forth from ‘great lips’. Dredge and silt appears perfect metaphors to be understood in terms of unfathomable depths of silence that death leaves. Breathing the air of postmodernist consumerist air, Plath mentions Lysol, a cleaning agent. She did something similar in Ariel by mentioning, the brand of a chocolate popular in her times. The diminutiveness of her psychological existence vis-a-vis her father’s stature in her life is well communicated through the ant metaphor. While the ‘skull plates’, the ‘white tumuli’ of the eyes are specific terms pertaining to anatomy. These words might make the lay reader go to the nearest dictionary which in turn could break the flow of the poem. This is something which the Confessional poetry was against. But people often break the rules that they make. ‘Orestia’, ‘Roman Forum’, and ‘fluted bones’ and ‘asanthine’ pose the same problem of initial resistance of meaning or its delay. In fact, the modernists who were often criticised for delaying the comprehension, had used these metaphors to do the same. A similar word is ‘cornucopia’. While ‘keel’ is a specific term of the marine register, the worlds ‘red’ and ‘plum colour’ do bring back the flavour of simplicity. This deliberate retention of meaning could be associated with Plath’s ‘anal retentive’ tendencies that young children often are found to be dealing with. According to Freud a child often retains his/her excrements usually to show her/his stubbornness etc. and produces them for the delight of the parent figures. However, this association could be completely ruled except given the psychological nature of the poem and the entire oeuvre of Plath’s poetry.

Plath establishes a contrast between past glory and present downfall, and also between the big and the small. Presented in the same framework as the fallen god, is a diminutive persona, who, in contrast with the massive statue, as “an ant in mourning”, and must tend it as best she can. In contrast between the statue’s bulk and the attendant’s puniness one is reminded of Swift’s portrayal of Gulliver in the land of Lilliputians. The relationship between the statue and the attendant is akin to that between a master and his slave, the latter in servile obedience to the former: “Thirty years now I have laboured/ To Dredge from your throat.” There is an acceptance by the speaker of her inferior role. Plath seems to be engaged in a thankless job, with no hope of ever being free of it. She resigns to fate.


“The Colossus” explores Plath’s identification and resurrection of the father, at a time when she has returned to her country of birth. It points up how the poem is exploring the relationship Plath has between male and female integrated self, her English and American self, playing out both on screen and in still images, part of her continuing mythology of her relationships with men. The ending also offers an allegory of Plath’s self-constitution as a poet, or a kind of manifesto. The merciless conditions of the first section are the necessary grounding for the transcendence realised in the final turn towards the stars and the sunrise. This signifies not surrender but a recognition on the part of the speaker that her subject, and the resources she needs to make something of it, are to hand. ‘The Colossus’ provides an interesting example with which to consider the question of how to interpret poetry that seems so visibly to gesture towards a biographical context or source.


Critical analysis–


Daddy was written on October 12, 1962, shortly before her death, and published posthumously in Ariel in 1965. Though most of Plath’s poetry centres around her loss of her father and her relationship with him, this poem perhaps is the most explicit. When we deal with Plath we often involve ourselves with the psychological aspects of her relationship with her father and other father figures. The title however, seems rather too romantic and childlike for any dry psychological introspections.


The theme as the title already suggests is a song about a father. Like any good piece of literature it too has numerous levels of interpretations. However, commensurate with the general theme of her poetry it too deals with her relationship with her father. However as the poem progresses it gets itself mixed with the memories or nuances of the holocaust. Neither in America nor in Britain was the holocaust directly felt. However, Plath’s father, Otto Plath was born in Grabow, Poland and perhaps had faced some of the Nazi atrocities, though he lived there till his sixteenth birthday only.


As far as the tone of the poem is concerned, it is half satiric (given the parodying of the nursery rhyme: “There was an old woman who lived in a shoe./She had so many children that she didn’t know what to do.”) and half mock-eulogising (Every woman adores a Fascist,). It often turns into scorn (Daddy, Daddy, you bastard. I’m through.) before it festers romantic and adoring as in – “and get back, back to you.” Given the post modern conditioning of the poem though the neat structure betrays the claim, the theme and tone often includes contradictory even antithetical ideas. This binding of the opposites actually lends more depth to the poem.


We have already discussed the presence of post modernist tendencies in the poem and the presence of the wide range of lexical possibilities confirms the same. Given the length of the poem we could try to divide our lexical categories into a number of groups. The most thick could be the categories of biography and history. Words like ‘thirty years’, ‘German tongue’, ‘Polish town’, ‘twenty’, ‘seven years’ are directly biographical details. However, when she mentions her age at her father’s death as being ten and not eight, we should become careful about believing everything she says. Under the category of the biography, we could include her desire which often plays with her memory. She seems to have a constructed memory of her father where her father is a Nazi working for the German air force. She uses the word ‘Luftwaffe’ which gives the poem yet another exotic flavour. The ‘black man’ referred to in the poem is none other than her husband Ted Hughes. Now if we concern ourselves with history we might look at a version of the same where history is coloured with personal memory and emotions. Even if it could not be confirmed if Plath’s mother was Jewish, Plath here tries to associate her persecution with the persecution of an entire race and she conveniently portrays her father to be the Nazi. This she does by referring to the names of places, things and events that associate with the Nazis like – Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen (infamous concentration camps), swastika, fascist, Mein Kampf. However, she has been accused of personalizing the history rather too much. Stretching from history to pop consciousness we find the image of the vampire. The image of the vampire has now come to be associated with the American pop consciousness rather than with gothic fiction.


The rise and fall of the emotions in association with her father calls for a psychological response. In a note to the poem, Plath herself draws our attention to the connection with the story of Electra:


[The poem] is spoken by a girl with an Electra Complex. Her father died while she thought he was god. Her case is considered by the fact that her father was also a Nazi and her mother very possibly part Jewish. In the daughter the two strains marry and paralyze each other – she has to act out the awful little allegory once over before she is free of it.


This statement is important for several reasons that may apply to the other poems of Plath as well. In the first place, we may note the deliberate effort to go beyond the self by employing on the one hand Greek myth and, on the other, events from world history (the Nazi-Jewish animosity). Secondly, it is easy to discern the awareness of psychoanalytical theories and their application to personal relationships. This poem speaks of the father-daughter relationship but in another poem (“Medusa”, for instance) it is relationship with the mother that the poet is concerned with. In yet another poem, it may be the ambiguous mother-child bond that she focuses on (as in “Lesbos”). Third, the poem takes a close look at not just the relationships, but the emotional complexities of a person, the existence of opposing forces within one’s psyche, the good and the bad, the gentle and the harsh, the Jew and the Nazi. And finally, Plath’s note puts forward a subtle suggestion that poetry, in its most powerful form, is a ritualistic gesture. It is an exorcism of the demons that haunt the poet. It is therapeutic, it has a cathartic effect. In such poems there is generally an inner, psychological conflict the persona is engaged in.

Plath adopted highly strained metaphors to describe her psychic state. Plath pushes beyond poetic convention in her choice of metaphors, assaulting the reader’s sensibilities with the lurid violence of her images. Nevertheless, the question of Plath’s direct appropriation of traumatic historical imagery remains a troubling one in poems such as “Lady Lazarus” and “Daddy,” and it raises fundamental questions about the use of historically specific imagery or personae in the service of personal or “confessional” poems. The metaphor of the ‘glue’ in the thirteenth stanza brings in the image of sexuality which is not out of the place given the psychological nature of the construction of the poem.


Critical appreciation –


In this intensely self-dramatizing poem, she wrote shortly before her own suicide in February 1963, Plath adopted highly strained metaphors to describe her psychic state. “Lady Lazarus,”

written in the fall of 1962, begins with a comparison between the poem’s speaker and the Jews tortured and killed in World War II:

A sort of walking miracle, my skin

Bright as a Nazi lampshade,

My right foot

A paperweight,

My face a featureless, fine

Jew linen.

Plath pushes beyond poetic convention in her choice of metaphors, assaulting the reader’s sensibilities with the lurid violence of her images. As Jon Rosenblatt notes, Plath’s comparison of the sufferings of her speaker to “the sadistic medical experiments on the Jews by Nazi doctors and the Nazis’ use of their victims’ bodies in the production of lampshades and other objects” is intended not to make realistic historical comparisons but to “draw the reader into the centre of a personality and its characteristic mental processes.” Though some readers have objected to what they see as Plath’s misappropriation of the holocaust for use in a poem about individual suffering, Rosenblatt argues that imagining her own psychic drama against the backdrop of Nazism is justified as a means of universalizing the personal conflict. Nevertheless, the question of Plath’s direct appropriation of traumatic historical imagery remains a troubling one in poems such as “Lady Lazarus” and “Daddy,” and it raises fundamental questions about the use of historically specific imagery or personae in the service of personal or “confessional” poems. Does the fact that Plath herself was not Jewish, for example, have any bearing on the legitimacy of her use of the holocaust as a defining metaphor for her own struggles? To some it has a lot of bearing to some none at all.


Plath subordinates the poem’s “confessional” aspect (its status as personal or biographical revelation) to its dramatic structure. Though the poem deals in a general sense with Plath’s own suicide attempts and their aftermath, the personal details are left vague, and the poem’s speaker focuses more on the creation of her mythic persona. The cultural complexity of this created persona is suggested by the title’s conflation of the biblical Lazarus (who rises from the dead in an ironized version of the failed suicide) and the “Lady” (with echoes of Lady Godiva, the Madonna, and various other figures from literature and fable) who becomes legendary in her suffering and ability to withstand various forms of torture. If the title is not immediately seen as comic, the grotesque comedy of the poem soon becomes apparent both in its form and in its presentation of the persona. Lady Lazarus compares herself to a carnival freak, whom the “peanut-crunching crowd / Shoves in to see.” She feels herself to be on display, both as a suicide and as a woman: later in the poem, she describes the viewing of her scarred and emaciated body as “the big strip tease” and as a theatrical “comeback in broad day.”


At this point, Plath uses the form of the poem – and in particular the repetition of rhyming  words – for a darkly comic effect:

There is a charge

For . . . charge

For . . . heart –

It really goes.

. . . large charge

For . . .

. . . blood

Or a piece of my hair or my clothes.

Plath’s use of the three-line stanza – as in other late poems like “Ariel” and “Fever 103” – carries echoes of the terza rima form of Italian tradition; but Plath’s use of the stanza provides only a general structure for her experimentation with a variable rhyme scheme and metrical pattern.


Most of the rhymes in the poem are off-rhymes (put/brute; goes/clothes; stir/there), and the pure rhymes often work through repetition of the same word or through combinations of internal and end rhymes that create a kind of syncopated feeling (“I turn and burn, / Do not think I underestimate your great concern”). In the above passage, the word “charge” is repeated four times within five lines, the last time accentuated by the internal rhyme with “large.” This kind of insistent rhyme highlights the pun implicit in the word “charge”: it is both an electrical charge (consistent with the imagery of lamps, burning, and the body as machine) and the monetary charge for those who want to see Lady Lazarus. The lines mock the reader, who, like the “peanut-crunching crowd” which pays to see Lady Lazarus, is implicated in the voyeuristic act of watching Plath’s “act” of self-revelation, a kind of biographical “strip tease.” The reader is drawn into the poem by this conceit, invited to watch, listen, and even touch the woman, who is herself reduced to a set of mechanized body parts: her heart, for example, is like a wind-up toy that “really goes.” The sound of the words here – especially the repetition of the harsh “ar” sound in “charge,” “scars,” “heart,” and “large” – adds to the brutally ironic tone of the passage. This disturbing effect is intensified by the relatively short lines and the use of meters more typical of light verse (for example, the rocking anapaests of “For a piece of my hair or my clothes”). Throughout the poem, Plath not only portrays her own torment, but parodies her attempts at suicide. This self-parody, however, is mixed with a sense of pride at her ability to manipulate both herself and her readers.


Plath’s persona of a performer in the poem – whether it takes the form of stripper, sideshow freak, or vaudeville comedian – allows her to declare herself a success. The implicit comparison between Plath as poet and as suicide is clear in the following lines:

Dying . . . else.

I do  . . . well,

I do . . . hell.

I  . . .real.

I . . . call.

Plath’s virtuosity as poet – which she displays in her manipulation of voice, image, form, and rhythm throughout the poem – is mapped onto her skill at “dying,” which she perversely claims to do “exceptionally well.” By writing poems about her own suicide attempts, Plath is also selling herself as poet to the reader.

Critical analysis –


The poem was published posthumously in the anthology Winter Trees in 1971. However, according to Ted Hughes this particular poem was meant to be published in the anthology Ariel. After all it was dated by Plath as 29th October 1962. As with other poems this one too celebrates the many layers of meanings present in the text. Thus it has many themes. One of the most prominent being the communication of servitude of women, while the purdah being the means of perpetuating the servitude. However, the theme of fighting back is also there since after the eleventh stanza, the purdah clad woman turns into the lioness. The tone, initially matching the theme is that of conveyance of helplessness which with the progress of the poem turns into anger and hope.


It is usually believed that the poem was inspired by a jade figurine of a woman. Perhaps referring to the figure of a woman sitting cross legged with a smile on her face on a costly stone trying to understand her own perspectives of representations, she tries to understand the impressionistic impressions work on an artefact. Reflecting after the lunar characteristics the poetess reflects upon the veiling qualities of the same. In the lunar luminance the poet compares herself with a mirror. The arrival of the husband confirms the restrictive senses of the veil itself. The purdah clad woman is turned into an object comparable with the pets. Next come the stage of the gradual decking up of the object so that it becomes appearance wise perfect. Yet at the end of the poem there is a resurrectional rise of the marginalized object into a fierce animal of wrath.


The title of the poem is reflected, just like the mirror with which Plath compares herself with, (thus exemplifying the self-reflexive nature of post-modern poetry) in the numerous words like – ‘little nets’, ‘hide’, ‘silk screens’, ‘veil’, ‘curtain’, ‘sheath’ etc. reflecting the theme the words like ‘jade’, ‘polishes’, ‘mirror’ (when used in the sense of a device to be used for make up as it is used here), ‘doll’ etc. tell about, using associative connections, the tale of patriarchal domination by the tools of objectifications and stereotyping. The names of the caged animals also bring into relief the chaining and caging of the spirit of the women. The oriental atmosphere is well built with words like – ‘purdah’, ‘cross legged’, ‘attendants’, ‘chandelier’, ‘crystals’, ’bath’. In fact the system of purdah itself is a very oriental concept, however, the concept might be alien to the western culture but the outcome seldom was.

Keeping up the habit of using Biblical allusions ‘Adam’ itself suggests the presence of yet another patriarchal dominative marker. After all it is said in the Bible that Eve came out of the ribs of Adam (reversing the whole reproductive mechanism!). Talking about allusions, ‘The cloak of holes’ refers to the murder of Agamemnon by Clytemnestra. Allusions will include the mockery of the toilette scene of Bellinda in Rape of the Lock. The image parodies the stereotypification of women by authors. Describing her husband (also the bridegroom) with the metaphor of the ‘lord of the mirrors!, she confirms her feminist views. While the trees have been compared with polyps and the moon light with cancerous pallors, she compares herself with a mirror.


This reading of ‘Purdah’ is made in the wake of Veronica Forrest-Thomson’s sense of its ‘poetic artifice’ and self-consciousness about the constructed nature of representation. It is also indebted to critics such as Alan Sinfield and Marjorie Perloff, who draw our attention to the poem’s plotting of female identity and its exploration of sexual politics within violent and oppressive male power structures. With the trope of the veil at the heart of its narrative, ‘Purdah’ is a ceremonial initiation into Plath’s theatre of ambivalence about display and concealment, and for this reason provides a useful focus for the intellectual and aesthetic concerns of this book.



Though Sylvia Plath’s life concluded rather abruptly, her legacy through heart wrenching lines shall live forever. Her style was simple and like all simple things forceful. Her poems often describe about the bouts of depression she went through have actually become a voice of resistance against any kind of oppression. She is particularly known for her pro feminist stance. Yet she has been accepted in all movements as a canonical poet. She often forms the voice of the sad and yet resurgent feminine mind that though droops under woe but like Ariel rises out of the crises like Lady Lazarus and break the Purdahs constructed by ‘daddies’ of self-centered patriarchies.

you can view video on Selected Poems of Sylvia Plath