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SYlvia plath

(1932-1963)

Sylvia Plath was an American poet, novelist, and short-story writer. She is credited with advancing the genre of confessional poetry and is best known for two of her published collections, The Colossus and Other Poems and Ariel, as well as The Bell Jar, a semi-autobiographical novel published shortly before her death. In 1981 The Collected Poems were published, including many previously unpublished works. For this collection Plath was awarded a posthumous Pulitzer Prize in Poetry in 1982, making her the first to receive this honour posthumously.




Bellow you’ll find, Ariel and Poppies in October. Only two poems from Plath so now, go and buy her book Ariel 

ARIEL [1962]


Sylvia Plath’s poem ‘Ariel’ portrays the poet riding a horse at daybreak. The rider does not appear to be fully in control: ‘Shadows. /Something else / Hauls me through air–’. She advances towards the morning sun as if driven by a magnetic force. As Ted Hughes clarified in his explanatory notes to the poem, Ariel was the name of Plath’s horse. However, the title could have other referents: Ariel is also a character in Shakespeare’s The Tempest, a spirit who eventually achieves freedom from Prospero.
Plath dedicated this manuscript fair copy of the poem to her friend the literary critic Al Alvarez. Alvarez, then poetry editor for the Observer newspaper, was one of the early champions of Plath’s poetry. He wrote an encouraging review of Plath’s first collection, The Colossus, and was one of the first people to hear the poems she wrote in 1962, which Plath read to him on a visit to his flat in London. (extract from British Library)

Stasis in darkness.
Then the substanceless blue  
Pour of tor and distances.

God’s lioness,  
How one we grow,
Pivot of heels and knees!—The furrow

Splits and passes, sister to  
The brown arc
Of the neck I cannot catch,

Nigger-eye  
Berries cast dark  
Hooks—

Black sweet blood mouthfuls,  
Shadows.
Something else

Hauls me through air—
Thighs, hair;
Flakes from my heels.

White
Godiva, I unpeel—
Dead hands, dead stringencies.

And now I
Foam to wheat, a glitter of seas.  
The child’s cry

Melts in the wall.  
And I
Am the arrow,

The dew that flies
Suicidal, at one with the drive  
Into the red

Eye, the cauldron of morning.


Ariel by Sylvia Plath




POPPIES IN OCTOBER [1962]


Reveal the ambiguity of this poem written by the iconic Sylvia Plath in 1962, while she was living in the English countryside... So many PERSPECTIVES!


Typescript of the poem 'Poppies in October', [1962], with her address given as Court Green, Devon. The poem, composed on her thirtieth birthday, 27 October 1962, was subsequently published in Ariel. The one main difference from the published version is that the typescript has an exclamation mark at the end of the final line ("...in a dawn of cornflowers!"), whilst a full-stop is used the printed version. Also, in the typescript Plath has used her preferred "---", which was not replicated in the printed book.
Provenance: Sylvia Plath, and by descent to her daughter Frieda. [source https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/24633/lot/364/]

Even the sun-clouds this morning cannot manage such skirts.
Nor the woman in the ambulance
Whose red heart blooms through her coat so astoundingly —

A gift, a love gift
Utterly unasked for
By a sky

Palely and flamily
Igniting its carbon monoxides, by eyes
Dulled to a halt under bowlers.

O my God, what am I
That these late mouths should cry open
In a forest of frost, in a dawn of cornflowers.


Poppies In October by Sylvia Plath





Mark





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