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FURTHER READING
Related Poems
Daddy
by Sylvia Plath
Lady Lazarus
by Sylvia Plath
Morning Song
by Sylvia Plath
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Poetry Landmark: McLean Hospital in Belmont, MA
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Anne Sexton
Anne Sexton
Anne Gray Harvey was born in Newton, Massachusetts, in 1928. She attended Garland...
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Robert Lowell
Many of Robert Lowell's later works were drawn from personal experience and his collection Life Studies is considered by many to have changed the landscape of modern poetry...
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Ted Hughes
Ted Hughes
Edward James (Ted) Hughes was born in Mytholmroyd, in the West Riding...
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Sylvia Plath
Sylvia Plath
The author of several collections of poetry, Sylvia Plath is also the author of the novel The Bell Jar...
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Related Pages
Groundbreaking Books
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Groundbreaking Book: Ariel by Sylvia Plath (1965)

 

Groundbreaking Book: Ariel by Sylvia Plath (1965)
Sylvia Plath was born in Boston in 1932 and attended Wellesley and Smith Colleges. Despite suffering from depression, she excelled in college, graduated summa cum laude, and received numerous prizes, including a Fulbright scholarship to study at Cambridge University. While in London, she met and married the British poet Ted Hughes, with whom she settled in England and had two children.

Overwhelmed by her clinical depression and the difficulties of caring for her children, she committed suicide just two weeks after publishing her novel, The Bell Jar. Her collection Ariel was published posthumously in 1965. Originally edited and compiled by Hughes, a new version of Ariel was released in 2004 that restores Plath’s original order and the twelve poems missing from the first version. The new version also contains a foreward by her daughter, Frieda Hughes, herself a poet and a painter.

Part of the Confessional movement, alongside her contemporaries Robert Lowell and Anne Sexton, Plath's work in Ariel is intensely personal. The darkly lyric poems address motherhood, sexuality, marriage, and her own experiences with depression. Despite the positive critical reception of her first, more traditional book, Colossus, the poems in Ariel were initially refused by many of the best editors in the country—the New Yorker would not publish more than a few lines of her later work.

Her late poetry, collected in Ariel, includes some of the best-known contemporary poems in the English language, including "Daddy," "Lady Lazarus," "Ariel," and the opening poem of the collection: "Morning Song."


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