This collection is for you if you’re seeking for some of the most inspiring Sylvia Plath quotes to help you respect yourself and your feelings a bit more. Sylvia Plath was a well-known novelist, poet, and short story author. Her work delves into topics like self, grief, and nature, all of which are deeply rooted in her own experience. Her two published collections, Ariel and The Colossus and Other Poems, are her most well-known works.
Sylvia Plath, just eight years old, wrote her first poem in the Boston Herald’s children’s section while living in Winthrop. Plath published a number of poems in regional newspapers and publications after a few years.
She showed early aptitude as an artist in addition to writing. The Scholastic Art & Writing Award presented her with an award for her works in 1947. Plath went on to attain even greater creative and social success, but her works were inspired by her anxiety and sadness.
Sylvia spent the following few years in mental institutions, suffered from severe depression, and finally committed suicide in February 1963. For The Collected Poems, she earned a Pulitzer Prize posthumously in 1982.
There is an increasing market for mental hospital stuff. I am a fool if I don’t relive it, recreate it.
I have the choice of being constantly active and happy or introspectively passive and sad.
Mountains terrify me – they just sit about; they are so proud.
When you are insane, you are busy being insane – all the time.
Every woman adores a Fascist.
My mother’s face floated to mind, a pale, reproachful moon, at her last and first visit to the asylum since my twentieth birthday. A daughter in an asylum! I had done that to her. Still, she had obviously decided to forgive me.
A little thing, like children putting flowers in my hair, can fill up the widening cracks in my self-assurance like soothing lanolin.
Is there no way out of the mind?
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Believe in some beneficent force beyond your own limited self. God, god, god: where are you? I want you, need you: the belief in you and love and mankind.
Mother believed that I should have an enormous amount of sleep, and so I was never really tired when I went to bed. This was the best time of day, when I could lie in the vague twilight, drifting off to sleep, making up dreams inside my head the way they should go.
The word consumes itself.
Perfection is terrible; it cannot have children.
Indecision and reveries are the anesthetics of constructive action.
I am a victim of introspection.
Sylvia Plath Quotes on Death
Why do we electrocute men for murdering an individual and then pin a purple heart on them for mass slaughter of someone arbitrarily labeled ‘enemy’?– Sylvia Plath
I told him I believed in hell, and that certain people, like me, had to live in hell before they died, to make up for missing out on it after death, since they didn’t believe in life after death, and what each person believed happened to him when he died. – Sylvia Plath
A summer calm laid its soothing hand over everything, like death. – Sylvia Plath
I must get my soul back from you; I am killing my flesh without it.
‘Do you know what a poem is, Esther?’ ‘No, what?’ I would say. ‘A piece of dust.’ Then just as he was smiling and starting to look proud, I would say, ‘So are the cadavers you cut up. So are the people you think you’re curing. They’re dust as dust as dust. I reckon a good poem lasts a whole lot longer than a hundred of those people put together.’ – Sylvia Plath
I have always been extremely fond of the definition of Death which says it is: Inaccessibility to Experience. – Sylvia Plath
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It all flowed over me with a screaming ache of pain…remember, remember, this is now, and now, and now. Live it, feel it, cling to it. I want to become acutely aware of all I’ve taken for granted. When you feel that this may be the good-bye, the last time, it hits you harder. – Sylvia Plath
So much working, reading, thinking, living to do. A lifetime is not long enough. Nor youth to old age long enough. Immortality and permanence be damned. Sure I want them, but they are nonexistent, and won’t matter when I rot underground. – Sylvia Plath
Wear your heart on your skin in this life.
The silence depressed me. It wasn’t the silence of silence. It was my own silence.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead; I lift my eyes and all is born again.
Why can’t I try on different lives, like dresses, to see which one fits me and is most becoming?
I must bridge the gap between adolescent glitter and mature glow.
Sylvia Plath Quotes on Writing
Poetry, I feel, is a tyrannical discipline. You’ve got to go so far so fast in such a small space; you’ve got to burn away all the peripherals.
Poetry at its best can do you a lot of harm.
Nothing stinks like a pile of unpublished writing.
The blood jet is poetry and there is no stopping it.
I remember that as I was writing a poem on ‘Snow’ when I was eight, I said aloud, I wish I could have the ability to write down the feelings I have now when I am little, because when I grow up, I will know how to write, but I will have forgotten what being little feels like.
Arrogant, I think I have written lines which qualify me to be The Poetess of America (as Ted will be The Poet of England and her dominions).
I want Books and Babies and Beef stews.
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Didn’t you know I’m going to be the greatest, most entertaining author and artist in the world? Well, don’t feel badly, I didn’t either!
Since my woman’s world is perceived greatly through the emotions and the senses, I treat it that way in my writing – and am often overweighted with heavy descriptive passages and a kaleidoscope of similes.
I have felt great advances in my poetry, the main one being a growing victory over word nuances and a superfluity of adjectives.
I think my poems immediately come out of the sensuous and emotional experiences I have.
Sylvia Plath Quotes about Love
There is nothing like puking with somebody to make you into old friends. – Sylvia Plath
That’s one of the reasons I never wanted to get married. The last thing I wanted was infinite security and to be the place an arrow shoots off from. I wanted change and excitement and to shoot off in all directions myself, like the colored arrows from a Fourth of July rocket. – Sylvia Plath
‘If you love her,’ I said, ‘you’ll love somebody else someday.’ – Sylvia Plath
There I went again, building up a glamorous picture of a man who would love me passionately the minute he met me, and all out of a few prosy nothings.– Sylvia Plath
So I began to think maybe it was true that when you were married and had children it was like being brainwashed, and afterward you went about numb as a slave in some private, totalitarian state.– Sylvia Plath
I shut my eyes, and the music broke over me like a rainstorm. Marco’s leg slid forward against mine and my leg slid back and I seemed to be riveted to him, limb for limb, moving as he moved, without any will or knowledge of my own, and after a while I thought, ‘It doesn’t take two to dance, it only takes one,’ and I let myself blow and bend like a tree in the wind. – Sylvia Plath
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I hadn’t, at the last moment, felt like washing off the two diagonal lines of dried blood that marked my cheeks. They seemed touching, and rather spectacular, and I thought I would carry them around with me, like the relic of a dead lover, till they wore off of their own accord. – Sylvia Plath
He was always saying how his mother said, ‘What a man wants is a mate and what a woman wants is infinite security,’ and, ‘What a man is is an arrow into the future and what a woman is is the place the arrow shoots off from,’ until it made me tired. – Sylvia Plath
I have room in me for love. And for ever so many little lives. – Sylvia Plath
Love is a desperate artifice to take the place of those two original parents who turned out not to be omnisciently right gods. – Sylvia Plath
I cut you out because I couldn’t stand being a passing fancy. Before I give my body, I must give my thoughts, my mind, and my dreams. And you weren’t having any of those. – Sylvia Plath
How we need another soul to cling to. – Sylvia Plath
I am, to be blunt and concise, in love only with myself, my puny being with its small inadequate breasts and meager, thin talents. I am capable of affection for those who reflect my own world. – Sylvia Plath
If they substituted the word ‘Lust’ for ‘Love’ in the popular songs it would come nearer the truth. – Sylvia Plath
Kiss me, and you will see how important I am. – Sylvia Plath
Sylvia Plath Quotes Feminism
I am still so naïve. I know pretty much what I like and dislike, but please, don’t ask me who I am. A passionate, fragmentary girl, maybe?
My mother had taught shorthand and typing to support us since my father died, and secretly she hated it and hated him for dying and leaving no money because he didn’t trust life insurance salesmen.
My mother said the cure for thinking too much about yourself was helping somebody who was worse off than you.
I began to see why woman-haters could make such fools of women. Woman-haters were like God, invulnerable and chock full of power. They descended, and then they disappeared. You could never catch one.
I want to be important. By being different. And these girls are all the same.
Since my woman’s world is perceived greatly through the emotions and the senses, I treat it that way in my writing and am often overweighted with heavy descriptive passages and a kaleidoscope of similes.
Yes, my consuming desire is to mingle with road crews, sailors and soldiers, barroom regulars—to be a part of a scene, anonymous, listening, recording—all this is spoiled by the fact that I am a girl, a female always supposedly in danger of assault and battery. My consuming interest in men and their lives is often misconstrued as a desire to seduce them, or as an invitation to intimacy. Yes, God, I want to talk to everybody as deeply as I can. I want to be able to sleep in an open field, to travel west, to walk freely at night.
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Apparently, the most difficult feat for a Cambridge male is to accept a woman not merely as feeling, not merely as thinking, but as managing a complex, vital interweaving of both.
When I was learning to creep, my mother set me down on the beach to see what I thought of it. I crawled straight for the coming wave and was just through the wall of green when she caught my heels.
Every woman adores a Fascist.
How can you be so many women to so many strange people, oh you strange girl?
Mother believed that I should have an enormous amount of sleep, and so I was never really tired when I went to bed. This was the best time of day, when I could lie in the vague twilight, drifting off to sleep, and making up dreams inside my head the way they should go.
Happy Sylvia Plath Quotes
If I didn’t think, I’d be much happier. If I didn’t have any sex organs, I wouldn’t waver on the brink of nervous emotion and tears all the time.
And there’s the fallacy of existence. The idea that one could be happy forever and age with a given situation or series of accomplishments.
That afternoon my mother had brought me the roses.
Is anyone anywhere happy?
I may never be happy, but tonight I am content.
Yes, I want the world’s praise, money, and love, and am furious with anyone getting ahead of me.
Living with him is like being told a perpetual story, his mind is the biggest, and most imaginative I have ever met. I could live in its growing countries forever.
Outlaws all extrapolations. Beyond the interval of now and here, white whales are gone with the white ocean.
There is nothing like puking with somebody to make you into old friends.
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People or stars regard me sadly, I disappoint them.
The trouble about jumping was that if you didn’t pick the right number of storeys, you might still be alive when you hit bottom.
I don’t care about anyone, and the feeling is quite obviously mutual.
The hardest thing is to live richly in the present without letting it be tainted out of fear for the future or regret for the past.
What is my life for and what am I going to do with it? I don’t know and I’m afraid.
Why do we electrocute men for murdering an individual and then pin a purple heart on them for mass slaughter of someone arbitrarily labeled enemy.
It was my first big chance, but here I was, sitting back and letting it run through my fingers like so much water.
Sylvia Plath Quotes the Bell Jar
I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am. – Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
If neurotic is wanting two mutually exclusive things at one and the same time, then I’m neurotic as hell. I’ll be flying back and forth between one mutually exclusive thing and another for the rest of my days. – Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, ‘This is what it is to be happy.’ – Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
The trouble was, I had been inadequate all along, I simply hadn’t thought about it. – Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
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I began to think vodka was my drink at last. It didn’t taste like anything, but it went straight down into my stomach like a sword swallower’s sword and made me feel powerful and godlike. – Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
Ever since I was small I loved feeling somebody comb my hair. It made me go all sleepy and peaceful. – Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
My mother said the cure for thinking too much about yourself was helping somebody who was worse off than you. – Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
The floor seemed wonderfully solid. It was comforting to know I had fallen and could fall no farther. – Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
Maybe forgetfulness, like a kind of snow, should numb and cover them. But they were part of me. They were my landscape. – Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
All the heat and fear purged itself. I felt surprisingly at peace. The bell jar hung, suspended, a few feet above my head. I was open to the circulating air. – Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
The silence depressed me. It wasn’t the silence of silence. It was my own silence. – Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
To the person in the bell jar, blank and stopped as a dead baby, the world itself is the bad dream. – Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
Because wherever I sat—on the deck of a ship or at a street café in Paris or Bangkok—I would be sitting under the same glass bell jar, stewing in my own sour air. – Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar