Ariel

Sylvia Plath

while reading Wintering, i tried to read along with this at the same time, as the chapter titles in Wintering are the titles of these poems, but in the sequence that Sylvia Plath had decided upon. she killed herself before the book was published and Ted Hughes reordered the poems into chronological order, removed some that he felt were “personally aggressive,” and added several poems written in the very last months before Plath’s death, which are “colored by her suicidal depression.” (*)

i’ve owned Plath’s collected poems since high school and have only read a few here and there, so it was good to have a starting point and find that i really appreciate her voice in many ways. something i felt when reading Sun Under Wood, which i also felt reading these poems, is that i’ve been enjoying reading poetry lately because sometimes it’s very personal in an oblique way but with sudden and startling insights clear through to the writer. especially reading these poems with a concept of what was going on around the same time, these insights are especially stirring.

i wonder if some day there will be a published edition of ariel as it was intended. it was definitely awkward trying to recreate it, flipping back to the index constantly! (Update: the restored edition was published in 2005.)