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Ariel. Poems Unknown Binding – 1965


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Unknown Binding, 1965
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  • Unknown Binding
  • ASIN: B004PB7F8U
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

More About the Author

Sylvia Plath (1932-1963) was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and studied at Smith College. In 1955 she went to Cambridge University on a Fulbright scholarship, where she met and later married Ted Hughes. She published one collection of poems in her lifetime, The Colossus (1960), and a novel, The Bell Jar (1963). Her Collected Poems, which contains her poetry written from 1956 until her death, was published in 1981 and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

77 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Dog in a Flat Cap on 7 Jan 2005
Format: Hardcover
I have read Plath inside out and backwards, and intermittently for eight years (I discovered her at the age of 22). She is now the subject of the final chapter of my thesis, which i am just preparing for submission. My PhD supervisor encouraged me to buy this book for the sake of my thesis, although I was reluctant to buy yet another book (funds are very limited!). After all, I already had the 'Collected Poems' which lists the poems in the order plath wanted at the back of the book; I am familiar with all of them. Furthermore, I have owned and lost no less than three copies of the published 'Ariel' owing to my habit of carrying it about places with me! (Please be assured I am not some suicide-obsessed pseudo-goth.) However, this book is superb. even though I knew the correct order of the poems, reading them like this is a completely different experience. The foreword by Frieda Hughes is extremely touching, showing her troubled loyalty to both parents (Ted Hughes, who of course edited the first publication of Ariel, leaving out about a dozen of the poems that he felt were inflammatory; and including in their place some of her very last, extremely depressed/depressing works that were written shortly before her death) who have for forty years been set one against the other in the popular imagination. The trajectory of the restored text takes you down before taking you up again, famously (as noted by Hughes in his foreword to the 'Collected Poems') beginning with the word 'love' and ending with 'spring'; this being precisely as Plath desired.
Whether or not you feel you wish to add this book to your collection is impossible for me to judge, but I consider this to be an essential bookshelf item, and furthermore ought to be read alongisde the prior version of 'Ariel'.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Ms. Felicia Davis-burden VINE VOICE on 23 Feb 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We finally have Ariel as Sylvia Plath intended it - the poems in the order left in her black ring binder in 1963. This powerful collection should be savoured and treasured more than it is. Additionally, the forward by Freida Hughes is an insightful personal memoir. Worth all the waiting.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bellabeck on 18 April 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Why is this version missing the Forward by Frieda Hughes, when several reviewers specifically commented on it's poignancy? The omission in my copy is most annoying.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 April 1998
Format: Paperback
Sylvia Plath is, by far, one of my very favorite poets of the twentieth century. In "Ariel," Plath combines mythology, biblical stories and her own private demons in a rare concoction of an art that can never be emulated. One can read her poems at many levels and still find breakthrough significance in them. Many critics have recently disclosed that Plath may have suffered from enhanced symptoms of PMS, which would have caused her roller coaster mood swings so apparent in her poems. "Ariel" is especially interesting to read in correlation to "Letters Home." It is a great work.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By "michaelmcculley" on 7 April 2005
Format: Hardcover
'Ariel' is an anthology you'll return to again and again. The wonderful thing about poetry is that it is that it is for everyone. From the transcendental title poem itself (Ariel), through the turbulent and disturbing 'Daddy', to the cutting 'Edge' this anthology consumes you. Deeply personal, yet universally relevent this is Plath at her best, and yet at her worst which is an apposite description of her creative genuis. So often in life in Ted Hughs's shadow, this anthology remains true to the line 'The Woman is Perfected / Her dead body wears the smile of accomplishment' (Edge). The first performance of this poetry engages you, then every time you hear it, it means more, explores more, challenges more. Some criticise Personal Poetry for its lack of 'out-of-context' coherency, however, in this anthology Plath has suceeded in creating a whirlwind of emotion that works without any knowledge of Plath's life; however, the poems come to life the more you learn of her, the images become more horrific, or less horrific... Ariel allows you a small window into Plath's life-long journey towards the EXCITEMENT of death and the beauty and misery of that journey. This is an ameteur psychologist's dream... Buy it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Failed Writer on 18 July 2011
Format: Paperback
The best single collection of poetry natively written in the English language, barring "Complete Poems of" collections. So many poets have cited Sylvia Plath as being the poet whose work activated their interest and passion and appreciation for the art form. The power and craftsmanship apparent in this collection, in her original and intended organization, leaves no doubt that Sylvia Plath is one of the all-time greats.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 Dec 2000
Format: Paperback
i'm studying Ariel for my A-level course, and have discovered Plath to be a fabulous poet. of course, she had her problems in life, but these serve to fuel her brilliant and unique poetry. i must admit, some of the poems i find difficult to get into, but others are simply perfect, e.g. Edge, one of her last poems. if you buy one poetry book this year, make it this one!
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Peter Carter on 1 Nov 2002
Format: Paperback
The opening poem in this collection is one of the most moving and imaginatively powerful celebrations of life ever written, depicticting the joy and hope that lies in the birth of child and setting the tone for the entire collection; a tone that contrasts heavily with the traditional view of Ariel as 'poetry of depression'. Indeed, even in such poems as 'Daddy' and 'Lady Lazarus' there is a certain feeling of elation which an astute reader will no doubt pick up on, and rarely is there any feeling of the author's 'wallowing in misery'.
It is clear from the outset that Plath sets out to present a balanced and almost comprehensive outlook on life; it's ups and its downs, its triumphs and its failures, and, in what is a rather excellent book of poetry (with a few fairly minor flaws) Plath has achieved just that. Though not quite '[a] woman completed', Plath nevertheless produced a collection that is both moving and intriguing.
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