the ghost of an infamous suicide,
My own blue razor rusting in my throat,
O pardon the one who knocks for pardon at
Your gate, father - your hound-bitch, daughter, friend,
It was my love that did us both to death."
Sylvia Plath (1932-1963) was born in Massachussetts,
USA and attended Smith College. She suffered from manic depression throughout
most of her adult life and an early suicide attempt landed her in mental
hospitals where she underwent electroshock therapy. She later went to Cambridge
University, England where she met and married the poet Ted Hughes. After
an acrimonious breakup with Hughes, she committed suicide in London. Her
autobiographical novel The Bell Jar recounts her first suicide attempt.
Worthy Web Links
"Tragedy is not a woman, however gifted, dragging her shadow around in a circle, or analysing with dazzling scrupulosity the stale, boring inertia of the circle; tragedy is cultural, mysteriously enlarging the individual so that what he has experienced is both what we have experienced and what we need not experience - because of his, or her, private agony. It is proper for us to say that Sylvia Plath represents for us a tragic figure involved in a tragic action, and that her tragedy is offered to us as a near-perfect work of art, in her books."
(Joyce Carol Oates)
poetry for the masses