The Poetry of Plath

Guest Post by Elda Pappadà

Sylvia Plath Poems Chosen by Carol Ann Duffy is a well put together ensemble of Plath’s deeply honest poetry. Her writings were vulnerable and held profound personal thoughts. Reading her poetry, I hear the voice of all women.

As Duffy mentions, Plath wrote confessional poems. She represented women and our challenges. Her voice is the voice we hear but quietly dare not express aloud, but still desperately feel and can never altogether ignore. I especially felt this from her poem “Mirror.” It is troubling and candid: “in me she has drowned a young girl, and in me/ an old woman/ rises . . . .”

She explores many motifs. At times, her poetry can be gripping and sad, but she also captures beautiful flashes and makes light of dark situations like in the poem “Last Words.” She has lines that make you smile because they are intelligently crafted even though the context is nothing to smile about, considering what we know about Plath’s life: “I should sugar and preserve my days like fruit!”


Sylvia Plath Poems Chosen by Carol Ann Duffy by Sylvia Plath. Faber & Faber, 2012.

Reviewer bio: Elda Pappadà recently self-published her first poetry book, Freedom—about love, loss, and understanding. A book about defining life and giving weight to everything we do. Twitter: @poems_elda.

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