Literary Birthday - 27 October
Happy Birthday, Sylvia Plath, born 27 October 1932, died 11 February 1963
Dying is an art.
Like everything else,
I do it exceptionally well.
I do it so it feels like hell.
I do it so it feels real.
I guess you could say I have a call.
- Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences.
- Life has been some combination of fairy-tale coincidence and joie de vivre and shocks of beauty together with some hurtful self-questioning.
- And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.
- Nothing stinks like a pile of unpublished writing.
- I want to write because I have the urge to excel in one medium of translation and expression of life. I can’t be satisfied with the colossal job of merely living. Oh, no, I must order life in sonnets and sestinas and provide a verbal reflector for my 60-watt lighted head.
- After something happens to you, you go to write it down, and either you over dramatize it, or underplay it, exaggerate the wrong parts or ignore the important ones. At any rate, you never write it quite the way you want to.
- The hardest thing is to live richly in the present without letting it be tainted out of fear for the future or regret for the past.
- I like people too much or not at all.
- Kiss me and you will see how important I am.
- Why can’t I try on different lives, like dresses, to see which one fits me and is most becoming?
- I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in life. And I am horribly limited.
- What did my arms do before they held you?
- How we need another soul to cling to.
- Perhaps some day I’ll crawl back home, beaten, defeated. But not as long as I can make stories out of my heartbreak, beauty out of sorrow.
- You have to be able to make a real creative life for Yourself, before you can expect anyone Else to provide one ready-made for you.
Plath was an American poet, novelist and short story writer. She married Ted Hughes in 1956 and they had two children together. Plath suffered from depression, and committed suicide in 1963. She is credited with advancing the genre of confessional poetry. She won a Pulitzer Prize posthumously, for The Collected Poems. She also wrote The Bell Jar, a semi-autobiographical novel published shortly before her death.
Source for Image (Photo: Courtesy of the Estate of Aurelia Schober Plath, Mortimer Rare Book Room, Smith College)
by Amanda Patterson for Writers Write
Today is the anniversary of Sylvia Plath's birthday. She was born 27 October 1932 and died 11 February 1963
Sylvia Plath’s Epitaph
“Even amidst fierce flames the golden lotus can be planted.”
"God, but life is loneliness, despite all the opiates, despite the shrill tinsel gaiety of “parties” with no purpose, despite the false grinning faces we all wear."
I felt very still and very empty, the way the eye of a tornado must feel, moving dully along in the middle of the surrounding hullabaloo. ~Sylvia Plath