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American poet, novelist, and short story writer (1932-1963)

I talk to God but the sky is empty.

SYLVIA PLATH, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

I am terrified by this dark thing
That sleeps in me;
All day I feel its soft, feathery turnings, its malignity.

SYLVIA PLATH, "Elm," Ariel

I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.

SYLVIA PLATH, "Mad Girl's Love Song"

Eternity bores me,
I never wanted it.


How we need another soul to cling to, another body to keep us warm. To rest and trust; to give your soul in confidence: I need this, I need someone to pour myself into.

SYLVIA PLATH, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

If you expect nothing from anybody, you’re never disappointed.


I have the choice of being constantly active and happy or introspectively passive and sad. Or I can go mad by ricocheting in between.

SYLVIA PLATH, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

The moon is no door. It is a face in its own right,
White as a knuckle and terribly upset.
It drags the sea after it like a dark crime; it is quiet
With the O-gape of complete despair.

SYLVIA PLATH, "The Moon and the Yew Tree," Ariel

People or stars
Regard me sadly, I disappoint them.


Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one's head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday, and no to-morrow. To forget time, to forgive life, to be at peace.


The blood of love welled up in my heart with a slow pain.

SYLVIA PLATH, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

Now I am silent, hate
Up to my neck,
Thick, thick.
I do not speak.


Perfection is terrible, it cannot have children.

SYLVIA PLATH, "The Munich Mannequins," Ariel

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.


There is so much hurt in this game of searching for a mate, of testing, trying. And you realize suddenly that you forgot it was a game, and turn away in tears.

SYLVIA PLATH, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

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.

SYLVIA PLATH, The Journals of Sylvia Plath

I'm a riddle in nine syllables,
An elephant, a ponderous house,
A melon strolling on two tendrils.
O red fruit, ivory, fine timbers!
This loaf's big with its yeasty rising.
Money's new-minted in this fat purse.
I'm a means, a stage, a cow in calf.
I've eaten a bag of green apples,
Boarded the train there's no getting off.

SYLVIA PLATH, "Metaphors," Crossing the Water

I don’t care about anyone, and the feeling is quite obviously mutual.

SYLVIA PLATH, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

I would catch sight of some flawless man off in the distance, but as soon as he moved closer I immediately saw he wouldn't do at all.


What a man is is an arrow into the future and what a woman is is the place the arrow shoots off from.


If they substituted the word "Lust" for "Love" in the popular songs it would come nearer the truth.

SYLVIA PLATH, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

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.

SYLVIA PLATH, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

And what is happy? It is a going always on. There is something better to be done than I have done, and spurred by the fair delusion of progress, I will seek to progress, to whip myself on, to more and more -- to learning. Always.

SYLVIA PLATH, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

I love people. Everybody. I love them, I think, as a stamp collector loves his collection. Every story, every incident, every bit of conversation is raw material for me. My love's not impersonal yet not wholly subjective either. I would like to be everyone, a cripple, a dying man, a whore, and then come back to write about my thoughts, my emotions, as that person. But I am not omniscient. I have to live my life, and it is the only one I'll ever have. And you cannot regard your own life with objective curiosity all the time.

SYLVIA PLATH, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

Herr God, Herr Lucifer,
Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair
And I eat men like air.

SYLVIA PLATH, "Lady Lazarus", Ariel

I saw the days of the year stretching ahead like a series of bright, white boxes, and separating one box from another was sleep, like a black shade. Only for me, the long perspective of shades that set off one box from the next day had suddenly snapped up, and I could see day after day after day glaring ahead of me like a white, broad, infinitely desolate avenue.


Love is the bone and sinew of my curse.

SYLVIA PLATH, "The Stones," The Colossus and Other Poems

With me, the present is forever, and forever is always shifting, flowing, melting. This second is life. And when it is gone it is dead. But you can't start over with each new second. You have to judge by what is dead. It's like quicksand ... hopeless from the start.

SYLVIA PLATH, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

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