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376 Inspiring Quotes by Sylvia Plath

Welcome to our collection of quotes by Sylvia Plath.

Wikipedia Summary for Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath (October 27, 1932 – February 11, 1963) 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 (1960) and Ariel (1965), as well as The Bell Jar, a semi-autobiographical novel published shortly before her death in 1963. The Collected Poems were published in 1981, which included many previously unpublished works. For this collection Plath was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in Poetry in 1982, making her the fourth to receive this honour posthumously.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Plath studied at Smith College in Massachusetts and at Newnham College in Cambridge, England. She married fellow poet Ted Hughes in 1956, and they lived together in the United States and then in England. Their relationship was tumultuous, as Plath wrote in letters about the abuse she suffered at his hands. They had two children before separating in 1962.

Plath was clinically depressed for most of her adult life, and was treated multiple times with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). She killed herself in 1963.

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Longer Version:

Every woman adores a fascist,
The boot in the face, the brute
Brute heart of a brute like you.


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Longer Version:

I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead; I lift my lids and all is born again. (I think I made you up inside my head.) The stars go waltzing out in blue and red, And arbitrary blackness gallops in: I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead. I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane. (I think I made you up inside my head.)


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Longer Version:

But when it came right down to it, the skin of my wrist looked so white and defenseless that I couldn't do it. It was as if what I wanted to kill wasn't in that skin or the thin blue pulse that jumped under my thumb, but somewhere else, deeper, more secret, and a whole lot harder to get at.


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Longer Version:

I want to taste and glory in each day, and never be afraid to experience pain; and never shut myself up in a numb core of nonfeeling, or stop questioning and criticizing life and take the easy way out. To learn and think: to think and live; to live and learn: this always, with new insight, new understanding, and new love.


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Longer Version:

I never feel so much myself as when I'm in a hot bath.
I lay in that tub on the seventeenth floor of this hotel for-women-only, high up over the jazz and push of New York, for near onto an hour, and I felt myself growing pure again. I don't believe in baptism or the waters of Jordan or anything like that, but I guess I feel about a hot bath the way those religious people feel about holy water.


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Longer Version:

There must be quite a few things a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them. Whenever I'm sad I'm going to die, or so nervous I can't sleep, or in love with somebody I won't be seeing for a week, I slump down just so far and then I say: 'I'll go take a hot bath.'

I meditate in the bath.The water needs to be very hot, so hot you can barely stand putting your foot in it. Then you lower yourself, inch by inch, till the water's up to your neck.


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Longer Version:

I have stitched life into me like a rare organ

-- from "Three Women: A Poem for Three Voices", written 1962.


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Longer Version:

I have the choice of being constantly active and happy or introspectively passive and sad. Or I can go mad by ricocheting in between...I am still so naïve; I know pretty much what I like and dislike; but please, don't ask me who I am. A passionate, fragmentary girl, maybe?


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Longer Version:

Today is the first of August. It is hot, steamy and wet. It is raining. I am tempted to write a poem. But I remember what it said on one rejection slip: 'After a heavy rainfall, poems titled 'Rain' pour in from across the nation.'



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Longer Version:

There is something demoralizing about watching two people get more and more crazy about each other, especially when you are the only extra person in the room. It's like watching Paris from an express caboose heading in the opposite direction -- every second the city gets smaller and smaller, only you feel it's really you getting smaller and smaller and lonelier and lonelier, rushing away from all those lights and excitement at about a million miles an hour.


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Longer Version:

I may never be happy, but tonight I am content. At times like this I'd call myself a fool to ask for more.


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Longer Version:

When they asked me what I wanted to be I said I didn't know. "Oh, sure you know," the photographer said. "She wants," said Jay Cee wittily, "to be everything.


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We wish you a perfect day!