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  • Writer's pictureThe Fiction Fox

Review: Ariel - Sylvia Plath

Genre: poetry Published: Faber and Faber, 2010 originally published 1965 My rating: 5/5 stars, all-time favorite

"I know the bottom, she says. I know it with my great tap root: It is what you fear. I do not fear it: I have been there..."

Sylvia Plath has been, and probably always will be, a poet whom words hits me harder than many others’ ever will. Many of the poems in this collection are very familiar to me: I’ve shed tears over them, adored them, resented them, analyzed them to death and absorbed their every message in my heart over the course of years now. However, this was my first time reading this collection as a whole, as opposed to fragmented pieces over time. My experience with the entire collection was simultaneously very familiar and yet a little different. I got to revisit some of my old favorites, which still haven’t lost their magic over me. I’d love to explain why I love each and every one of them, and what they mean to me, however, I’m choosing to only mention some of them briefly. Most poetry is best experienced “blind” yourself, and if you are interested in reading some analyses, there are many out there that do a way better job than I ever could, so I’d much rather direct any of you who are interested there, than do a butch-job myself. Some of my favorites included in this collection, however, are:

- Lady Lazarus (possibly Plath’s most famous poem, and one of my all-time favorite poems) - The Moon and the Yew-tree (again: one of my all-time favorite poems) - Elm - Daddy - Paralytic - Edge (most likely the last poem Plath ever wrote before her death)

All of these are amazing poems by themselves, but reading the collection as a whole did in a way help me understand a bit more about Sylvia Plath as a person, which helps you understand her work better. Although the collection isn’t organized chronologically, I couldn’t help but paint a picture of some of her major life events whilst reading, which added an extra layer to her work.

Would I recommend it? Absolutely and whole heartedly… Not just to anyone interested in poetry, but to anyone interested in these topics as well.

I’m fairly sure I don’t have to explain what these topics are, but just in case you aren’t familiar with Plaths work: check the spoilerwarning on my goodreads or do your own research online. Please, decide for yourself if you’re comfortable reading about these topics at the current place you may be in.

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