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Ariel

Ariel

Paperback

By (author) Sylvia Plath

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  • Publisher: Faber & Faber Poetry
  • Format: Paperback | 96 pages
  • Dimensions: 124mm x 196mm x 10mm | 181g
  • Publication date: 8 May 2001
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0571086268
  • ISBN 13: 9780571086269
  • Sales rank: 14,834

Product description

The poems in Sylvia Plath's Ariel, including many of her best-known such as 'Lady Lazarus', 'Daddy' and 'Fever 103 degrees', were all written between the publication in 1960 of Plath's first book, The Colossus, and her death in 1963. 'If the poems are despairing, vengeful and destructive, they are at the same time tender, open to things, and also unusually clever, sardonic, hardminded ...They are works of great artistic purity and, despite all the nihilism, great generosity ...the book is a major literary event.' A. Alvarez in the Observer

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Author information

Sylvia Plath (1932-1963) was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and studied at Smith College. In 1955 she went to Cambridge University on a Fulbright scholarship, where she met and later married Ted Hughes. She published one collection of poems in her lifetime, The Colossus (1960), and a novel, The Bell Jar (1963); Ariel was published posthumously in 1965. Her Collected Poems, which contains her poetry written from 1956 until her death, was published in 1981 and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry.

Review quote

"Sylvia Plath's last poems have impressed themselves on many readers with the force of myth. They are among the handful of writings by which future generations will seek to know us and give us a name."-- "Critical Quarterly""It is fair to say that no group of poems since Dylam Thomas's "Deaths and Entrances" has had as vivid and disturbing an impact on English critics and readers as has "Ariel." Sylvia Plath's poems have already passed into legend as both representative of our present tone of emotional life and unique in their implacable, harsh brilliance...These poems take tremendous risks, extending Sylvia Plath's essentially austere manner to the very limit. They are a bitter triumph, proof of the capacity of poetry to give to reality the greater permanence of the imagined. She could not return from them."-- George Steiner, "The Reporter"

Editorial reviews

Wife of poet Ted Hughes, mother of two children, Miss Plath published a first book of poetry in 1960, and died in 1963, aged thirty. Fragments of this brief biography whirl through this extraordinary, fiery, and fiercely lucid poetry. Children are seen with intense love, but also as cool, vast, mythic. Flowers, landscapes, bees, people, time, are also viewed with extreme simplicity and with the tremendous power of myth. But it is Death that dominates the volume; not as a macabre figure but as a vantage point, a savage, impersonal magnifying glass that heightens all perceptions to a terrible, almost Joyous, burning sense of a reality not only stripped and being stripped of all the normal baggage of life, but seen all anew, and for the last time. The many poems about death and dying have a splendor, a purity and violence, that is far beyond merely personal statement. A remarkable, hauntingly vivid book. (Kirkus Reviews)