Plath, Sylvia. Ariel: the Restored Edition.New York: Harper Perennial, 2004.

Sylvia Plath wrote with such raw energy and emotion. Her essence is on every page, in every word. Nowhere is that more plain to see than in the collected poems in Ariel. As the last collection of poetry written before her death it is riddled with references to death. That is to be expected from one suffering from depression, on the wrong kind of medicine, and already an attempted suicide survivor. It’s as if death is stalking her, wooing her (case in point: the last line of “Death & Co” is “somebody is done for” (p 36) and “Dying is an art…I do it exceptionally well” (p 15). I chose to read Ariel: the Restored Edition and now that I’ve thought about it I don’t think it’s the version Pearl was referring to (see BookLust Twist). Oh well.

Favorite lines – the first being from Path’s daughter, Frieda, in the foreword, “The manuscript was digging up everything that must be shed in order to move on” (p xiv – xv).

Reason read: Although we are getting to the end of the month April is still National Poetry Month.

Author fact: Everyone knows a little something about Sylvia Plath (Smith College, Ted Hughes, suicide, etc), but what I recently learned was that she was born in Boston.

Book trivia: If you haven’t read Ariel I would suggest skipping the version Ted Hughes introduced to the world and pick up the one his daughter, Frieda Hughes, wrote the foreword for, Ariel: the Restored Edition. It is far more informative.

BookLust Twist: from More Book Lust in the chapter called “You Can’t Judge a Book By Its Cover” (p 237). Oddly enough, Ariel is not a recommendation by Pearl. She merely uses it as an example of a recognizable cover when discussing Alan Powers’s book Front Cover: Great Book Jacket and Cover Design.

One Comment on “Ariel”

  1. indytony says:

    Ariel is definitely on my must-read list.

    I was drawn here by a tag search of “Sylvia Plath”. I am currently reading her journals and have started a dialogue about her life and work on my blog. My first post is here –

    I hope you might join the conversation.

    Keep up the good writing.

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