Sylvia Plath Ariel: Poems

ISBN 13: 9780060931728

Ariel: Poems

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9780060931728: Ariel: Poems
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Sylvia Plath's celebrated collection.

When Sylvia Plath died, she not only left behind a prolific life but also her unpublished literary masterpiece, Ariel. Her husband, Ted Hughes, brought the collection to life in 1966, and its publication garnered worldwide acclaim. This collection showcases the beloved poet’s brilliant, provoking, and always moving poems, including "Ariel" and once again shows why readers have fallen in love with her work throughout the generations.

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Review:

Sylvia Plath churned out her final poems at the remarkable rate of two or three a day, and Robert Lowell describes them as written by "hardly a person at all ... but one of those super-real, hypnotic, great classical heroines." Even more remarkable, she wrote them during one of the coldest, snowiest winters (1962-63) Londoners have ever known. Snowbound, without central heating, she and her two children spent much of their time sniffling, coughing, or running temperatures (In "Fever 103°" she writes, "I have been flickering, off, on, off on. / The sheets grow heavy as a lecher's kiss."). Pipes froze, lights failed, and candles were unobtainable.

As if these physical privations weren't enough, Plath was out in the cold in another sense--her husband, Ted Hughes, had left her for another woman earlier that year. Despite all this (or perhaps because of it), the Ariel poems dazzle with their lyricism, their surprising and vivid imagery, and their wit. Rather than confining herself to her bleak surroundings, Plath draws from a wide array of experience. In "Berck-Plage," for instance, clouds are "electrifyingly-coloured sherbets, scooped from the freeze." In "The Night Dances," the poet stands crib-side, reveling in her son's own brand of do-si-do: "Such pure leaps and spirals--Surely they travel / The world forever, I shall not entirely / Sit emptied of beauties, the gift / Of your small breath..."

Though at times they present the reader with hopelessness laid bare, these poems also teem with the brightest shards of a life, confounding those who merely look for the words of a gloomy, dispassionate suicide. Plath rose each morning in the final months of her life to "that still blue, almost eternal hour before the baby's cry" and left us these words like "axes/After whose stroke the wood rings..."

From the Back Cover:

"In these poems...Sylvia Plath becomes herself, becomes something imaginary, newly, wildly and subtly created."
-- From the Introduction by Robert Lowell

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780060732608: Ariel: The Restored Edition: A Facsimile of Plath's Manuscript, Reinstating Her Original Selection and Arrangement (Modern Classics)

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0060732601 ISBN 13:  9780060732608
Publisher: Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2018
Softcover

9780571322725: Ariel (Faber Poetry)

Faber ..., 2015
Softcover

9780060732592: Ariel: The Restored Edition: A Facsimile of Plath's Manuscript, Reinstating Her Original Selection and Arrangement

Harper, 2004
Hardcover

9780571086269: Ariel (Faber Paperbacks)

Faber ..., 1968
Softcover

9780571236091: Ariel: The Restored Edition

Faber ..., 2009
Softcover

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