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Biography of sylvia plath
 

Biography of sylvia plath

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    Biography of sylvia plath Biography of sylvia plath Presentation Transcript

    • Born in 1932 to middle class parents in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, Sylvia Plath published her first poem at the age of eight. A sensitive person who tended to be a bit of a perfectionist she was what many would consider a model daughter and student popular, a straight A student, always winning the best prizes. She won a scholarship to Smith College in 1950 and even then she had an enviable list of publications. While at Smith she wrote over four hundred poems. In 1956 she married Ted Hughes, an English poet, and in 1960, at the age of twenty-eight she published her first book, The Colossus in England. The poems found in the book clearly showed the dedication with which she pursued her apprenticeship, yet they only gave a taste of what was to come in the poems she began writing in early 1961. She and Hughes settled for a brief time in an English country village in Devon, England. However, less than two years after the birth of their first child the marriage However, beneath the surface of her seeming perfection were some grave discontinuities, some which probably were caused by the death of her father, an entomologist, when she was eight. During the summer after her junior year in college, Sylvia made her first (and almost successful) attempt at suicide by overdosing on sleeping pills. The experience is described in her autobiographical novel, The Bell Jar , published in 1963. After a period of recovery, which involved electroshock and psychotherapy she once again pursued academic and literary success, graduating from Smith summa cum laude in 1955 and winning a Fulbright scholarship to study in Cambridge, England.
    • In the winter if 1962-63, one of the coldest in centuries, Sylvia lived in a small flat in London, with her two children, ill with the flu and nearly broke. The difficulties in her life seened to reinforce her need to write and she often worked between four and eight a.m., before the children awoke. She would sometimes finish a poem a day. In her last works it seems as though some deeper and more powerful self had grabbed control of her. In those poems death is given a cruel, physical allure and psychic pain becomes almost tactile. On February 11, 1963, Sylvia Plath succeeded in killing herself with cooking gas at the age of thirty. Two years after her death, Ariel , a collection of some her last poems was published, that was followed by Crossing the Water and Winter Trees in 1971 and in 1981 The Collected Poems was published, edited by none other than Ted Hughes.
    • The Colossus (1960)  So many of us! So many of us! We are shelves, we are Tables, we are meek, We are edible,  Nudgers and shovers In spite of ourselves. Our kind multiplies:  We shall by morning Inherit the earth. Our foot's in the door.
    • Crossing the Water (1971)  These hills are too green and sweet to have tasted salt. I follow the sheep path between them. A last hook brings me To the hills' northern face, and the face is orange rock That looks out on nothing, nothing but a great space Of white and pewter lights, and a din like silversmiths Beating and beating at an intractable metal.  These poems do not live: it's a sad diagnosis. They grew their toes and fingers well enough, Their little foreheads bulged with concentration. If they missed out on walking about like people It wasn't for any lack of mother-love.  Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me, Searching my reaches for what she really is. Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon. I see her back, and reflect it faithfully. She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands. I am important to her. She comes and goes. Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness. In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish.  I'm a riddle in nine syllables, An elephant, a ponderous house, A melon strolling on two tendrils. O red fruit, ivory, fine timbers! This loaf's big with its yeasty rising. Money's new-minted in this fat purse. I'm a means, a stage, a cow in calf. I've eaten a bag of green apples, Boarded the train there's no getting off.
    • • How frail the human heart must be a mirrored pool of thought . • « I thought you could not Hurt", refers to the introduction of Letters Home: Correspondence 1950-1963 ( 1975 ) as the first poem of Plath , written at age 14 • I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead ; I lift my lids and all is born again . • "Love Song Mad Girl" ( 1953 ) from the Collected Poems ( 1981) • " Three Women: A Poem for three voices" ( 1962 ) , a radio play published in 1968 • What did my fingers do before they held him ? What did my heart do, with love ?