- Hardcover: 96 pages
- Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (6 May 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780571259311
- ISBN-13: 978-0571259311
- ASIN: 0571259316
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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- #273 in Books > Textbooks & Study Guides > Higher Education Textbooks > Humanities > Literature > American Literature
- #421 in Books > Textbooks & Study Guides > Higher Education Textbooks > Social Sciences > Gender Studies
- #521 in Books > Textbooks & Study Guides > Higher Education Textbooks > Humanities > Literature > English Literature
Ariel (Poetry Firsts Collection) Hardcover – 6 May 2010
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"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"
Ariel is the volume upon which rests Sylvia Plath's reputation as one of the most original, daring and gifted poets of the twentieth century; now one of six wonderful collections published in celebration of Faber's rich poetry heritage.See all Product description
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I paid a buck fifty for the paperback "Revised" edition (arranged by Plath's daughter Frieda in an attempt to be more faithful to her mother's arrangement, in contrast to the arrangement by Frieda's father, Ted Hughes), but this is a million dollar book.
The poetry is rich in images, with ominous visions of Nazis and death sharing the pages with bees, puking babies, and other fixtures of domesticity. Plath is playful with language, but sharp and relentless in her deconstruction of the world around her. She does not give any illusion of her life as a mother and wife being a fairy tale ending; she readily admits that suicide is on her mind. So thickly layered are each of her poems, I will gladly reread them all a dozen more times to find more juicy double meanings and commentary tucked away in the lines.
Some of my personal favorite poems were:
Lesbos -- The kitchen is not a holy ground to Sylvia. She enjoys zero time spent with another woman, possibly the mistress who took her husband away, whose grating attitude makes idle chit-chat a living hell.
The Applicant -- "First, are you our sort of person?//Do you wear//A glass eye, false teeth or a crutch,//A brace or a Hook,//Rubber breasts or a rubber crotch" This poem speaks for itself.
Daddy -- Among the most well-known poems from this collection, it devilishly mixes childlike word play with black images of fascism, "The boot in the face, the brute//Brute heart of a brute like you". It reads like a scathing, adult version of Dr. Seuss. I love it.
Just get it already!