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Sylvia Plath Childhood Art


I really like the work of Sylvia Plath. I liked The Bell Jar fine, but mostly really love her poetry that I’ve read. Browsing the site today, I came across something unusual: drawings done by Sylvia Plath as a child.

From the description:

“Three pencil drawings, executed when Plath was eight and nine years old, shortly after the death of her father, Otto, in 1940. It was at this young age that Plath first retreated into the worlds of both poetry and art: her first poem was published in THE BOSTON HERALD in 1941, the same year that a drawing of hers, of a plump lady in a feathered hat, won a dollar prize in another newspaper contest. Plath has claimed that it was her mother’s reading Matthew Arnold’s “The Forsaken Merman” to her that sparked her poetic imagination, and the first drawing here, “Mer-maid Land,” is an underwater scene of a mermaid, fish and castle, with the mermaid shown again, larger, on a fold-over leaf. SIGNED “Sylvia July 20, 1941.” In 1941, Plath was flower girl at her Aunt Dorothy’s wedding; in 1942 she performed the same role for her Uncle Frank. The second drawing is of a bride, in profile, in wedding dress, and is SIGNED “Sylvia” and dated “1942″ by Plath’s mother, Aurelia. The final drawing, of a woman preparing to curtsey, is described on the verso by Plath’s mother: “Sylvia drew this to illustrate the costume planned for the Minuet Group in the Pageant given May 1942. Sylvia was in the group.” Aurelia (presumably) has also written “Keep” on the front. This drawing is also in pencil, but with the costume colored in orange crayon. “

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Beth Carswell

About Beth Carswell

I've been reading, selling, researching, loving and writing about books with AbeBooks since 2000.

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