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The Collected Poems

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4.19  ·  Rating Details  ·  26,492 Ratings  ·  332 Reviews
The aim of the present complete edition, which contains a numbered sequence of the 224 poems written after 1956 together with a further 50 poems chosen from her pre-1956 work, is to bring Sylvia Plath's poetry together in one volume, including the various uncollected and unpublished pieces, and to set everything in as true a chronological order as is possible, so that the ...more
Hardcover, 349 pages
Published December 25th 1981 by Turtleback Books (first published 1981)
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Ben Marcher This contains MOST of her poems. There are some early pieces the editor decided to discard in this edition.
The Complete Poems by Emily DickinsonLeaves of Grass by Walt WhitmanShakespeare's Sonnets by William ShakespeareThe Waste Land and Other Poems by T.S. EliotAriel by Sylvia Plath
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Pewterbreath
Oct 30, 2013 Pewterbreath rated it liked it
Whoo-boy, nobody has given me more trouble than Sylvia Plath. Only Byron may be as difficult in seperating the personality from the work, and with him we at least have a good bit of time since the works were actually written. I half-wonder if anybody can really be objective about her work.
See, she has a group of followers who just about worship her to the point of Tori Amos's fans, where everything she's done is meaningful and perfect. Her suicide date is celebrated. Every word she wrote is put
...more
jack
Jan 14, 2008 jack rated it it was amazing
i keep coming back to plath as a source of inspiration for my own writing or alternately as a reason to never try to write anything again. because, people, she is one of the best. arguably one of the top five american poets of all time.

the only downer of this book is that ted hughes edited it, and he was the piece of shit she killed herself over. so if you want to read the ariel poems in their correct, initially intended order check out the notes in the back for that. why that asshole thought h
...more
Jonathon
Sylvia Plath was super gangsta. She stuck her head in an oven and killed herself. Besides that, she wrote some pretty dope poetry and was super fresh.... (I apologize for writing in outdated youthful urban slang, but I was bored and thought it might "spice up" these less-than-mediocre reviews. I can see now, after closer examination, this was a terrible decision... Once again, I apologize for the inconvenience).

Also.... reading Plath's poems extremely intoxicated on alcoholic beverages can be a
...more
Vanessa
Mar 24, 2016 Vanessa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair
and I eat men like air.”
Angel Erin
http://angelerin.blogspot.com/2016/03...


I really enjoyed reading Sylvia Plath's poetry. Ever since I read The Bell Jar (and then googled Sylvia and learned more about her) I have been fascinated by her life and her work. I also loved her book of unabridged journals. So when I saw there was a book of her poetry I just had to buy it and read it.

Sylvia Plath's writing is just so addicting. Everything flows beautifully and I just loved so many of these poems. I had such a great time reading this boo
...more
Esther
Mar 25, 2011 Esther rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My psychiatrist laughed when I said I read Sylvia Plath, "why do all you young women" etc. I do think part of it is that Sylvia becomes a friend if you go through some of the same stuff she did. Any famous person who shares your condition does. But to say that's all she's good for, as if there's no merit or instruction in her work...

And then, once again, it's back to the emotional Plath -- phrases that crush your head both because they are so well wrought and also because you know exactly what s
...more
Jen
Sep 12, 2013 Jen rated it really liked it
I had this exact edition and carried this book with me all the time. My favorite poem is below in it is below:

I Am Vertical

By Sylvia Plath

But I would rather be horizontal.
I am not a tree with my root in the soil
Sucking up minerals and motherly love
So that each March I may gleam into leaf,
Nor am I the beauty of a garden bed
Attracting my share of Ahs and spectacularly painted,
Unknowing I must soon unpetal.
Compared with me, a tree is immortal
And a flower-head not tall, but more startling,
And I
...more
Jeremy Allan
Jan 13, 2011 Jeremy Allan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
First: my rating applies to the edition, not the poetry.

After hacking away at this collected poems for the better part of six months, I'm not sure I have any interest in rating the poems. I think, in part, this is due to a certain experience I had in reading, as if this were a history book or a chronicle rather than a work of literature. Of course, while that reveals something (unsavory?) of my predisposition as a reader, I think it at leaves gives a hint as to how the work struck me.

Whereas the
...more
Mason
Apr 09, 2016 Mason rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Poetry can be a bit hard to judge. I mean, this is the only full book of poetry i've ever completed start to finish.

But i love me some Plath, so i knew this wasn't one i just wanted to pick and choose and only read partially.

So i did. Cover to cover i read this, and while there were a handful that didn't speak to me or i just didn't get, i enjoyed this collection! I feel like i might have to give this a reread after i read her collection of journal entries, just so i can have a little more con
...more
Vanessa
May 08, 2012 Vanessa rated it it was amazing
So it turns out "The Collected Poems" means literally everything Sylvia Plath EVER wrote. It's arranged more or less chronologically, and when I was about halfway through the book I was all set to only give it three stars. At 2/3 of the way through, it had gone up to four stars, and by the last 20-30 pages there was no way it was getting anything less than five.

Although her earlier poems aren't to my particular taste, and you can tell her command of the craft is still developing, it's so wonder
...more
Myles
I know--I'm a cretin. As much as I love some of these poems, as a whole, this book is exhausting.

I firmly believe that Sylvia Plath was a great artist, in prose as well as poetry. The Bell Jar is one of my favorite novels. Nor do I think that her personality or the legend of her life overpowers her work. What personality could dim the power of "Conversation Among the Ruins", "The Colossus" or "Lady Lazarus"? They are some of her most well-known poems, but they stand out even in this massive col
...more
Karli
Nov 15, 2013 Karli rated it really liked it
I've finally found my way through this incredible body of work. But now I find myself unable to rank this among my favorites, as much as I love the work and am fascinated by the poet. It was brilliant, but not perfect, and oftentimes, it was too dark, too much, for me to truly feel it. In the end, I much prefer Sylvia Plath as a novelist.
Eli Phillips
May 14, 2012 Eli Phillips rated it it was amazing
i'm not into poetry, but i love plath.

i was hooked first on her recording of The Thin People

she's grim, she's angry, she's mad.

i love her brutal emotion. and her use of alliteration is unrivaled.

yummy. i'd like to die wrapped in her words, like a spider's snack, woven and suffocated in them :)
GirlOfTheCrowd
Oct 09, 2010 GirlOfTheCrowd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've taught this collection at A Level and it was a challenging yet enlightening experience. Plath's imagistic, brutal poems are beautiful yet cutting. Our appreciation of her work is certainly heightened by a knowledge of relevant biographical information (her father's death and the effect it had upon her; her marriage to Ted; her psychological and emotional state; her suicide attempts etc) but these poems are engaging literary gems in themselves. Vibrant colour symbolism, aggressive imagery, h ...more
Jason Lilly
Jun 01, 2011 Jason Lilly rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone who loves poetry
It would be an understatement to say that I fell in love with Sylvia Plath. The Bell Jar sank my heart, broke it in two, and revived it again. Her choice of words, even in prose, dance through your mind and are hard to forget.

This is especially true, though, of her poetry. Each poem has a beautiful life of its own, but together as an anthology, the poems show Plath's true heart, fickle, angry, passionate, uninhibited. From the more disturbing poems like "Daddy" to finding eloquent beauty is simp
...more
Eileen
Jan 31, 2010 Eileen rated it it was amazing
These are beautiful, honest, wrenching poems. They show us life through the lens of a brilliant mind, struggling “to keep reality at bay” and to overcome her inner demons.

They are all haunting, but my thoughts keep coming back to two in particular. In CHILD, Sylvia Plath tells her baby how she would love for his beautiful eyes to reflect only wonderful things rather than the anxious, troubled spirit she has become.

In MIRROR, she personifies a looking glass. Speaking in the first person, she te
...more
Andre Odysseus
"The photographic chamber of the eye
records bare painted walls, while an electric light
lays the chromium nerves of plumbing raw;
such poverty assaults the ego; caught
naked in the merely actual room,
the stranger in the lavatory mirror
puts on a public grin, repeats our name
but scrupulously reflects the usual terror.

Just how guilty are we when the ceiling
reveals no cracks that can be decoded? when washbowl
maintains it has no more holy calling
than physical ablution, and the towel
dryly disclaims that
...more
Leah
When I started reading this book a little and kinda hard journey began for me.
Here's why:
1. I have never read a poetry collection before, just a few poems standing alone. So I wasn't really used to reading that much poetry on a day.
2. I read the English version because I wanted to read the poet's original words. This resulted in a lot of vocabulary problems and me, questioning my English skills, and if I learned anything at all in school. But after a few days I got used to it and understood mo
...more
Grace
Apr 01, 2008 Grace rated it it was amazing
I think this collection may be even more essential than Ariel, though Ariel is more of a landmark. This book is literally therapy for me. I don't care if Plath is a cliche; she was a genius and you can experience it through this work.
Benji
Jan 03, 2009 Benji rated it did not like it
Suicidal, deranged, narccissitic; just my kinda girl! (unfortunately I'm only half-joking.) Thank you for sharing but its just not worth it without the sex. Give me heroes and monsters any day!
nicole
Mar 14, 2015 nicole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
When I first tackled this in 2009, I just... didn't get it. If you feel the same, especially if you love the Bell Jar as I do, come back to it. It's worth it.
Doug
Oct 06, 2009 Doug rated it liked it
Sylvia Plath... at last I'll spell your name right >_<
My review:
When I approached this book, I did not check the introuctions but, instead, got right into the poetry. I did not want to feel bias towards her stories or her struggle, because if art wishes a story or struggle to be told, it does so. See Oscar Wilde's preface to Dorian Gray for a better explanation. This, as well as the broken formalism in her style, may be the cause for why I don't "get it" as, while I spy on reviews during t
...more
Robby
Jun 30, 2010 Robby rated it it was amazing
I am fascinated by insanity, instability, depression. People who fall into that hole and never get out, who resurface only to fall right back in. I am fascinated by their stories, how they got there, how things end, and how they get there. Sylvia Plath’s poetry is about all of these things, but also about everything else, and I have always been fascinated by this woman who has been dead for almost 50 years.
She is notorious for many things, her honesty, her imagery, and the way she took her own
...more
HM
Sep 04, 2012 HM rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Daddy and The Applicant are among my favorite poems.

اشعار پلات را سعید سعید پور در کتابی دو زبانه تحت عنوان در کسوت ماه -انتشارات مروارید- و همچنین ضیاء موحد به فارسی -مجله ارغنون ویژه شعر- ترجمه و منتشر کرده اند. سیلویا پلات چندی قبل از خودکشی این شعر را سروده است


این زن کامل شده است.
بر تن بیجانش
لبخند توفیق نقش بسته است
از طومار شب جامهی بلندش
توهّم تقدیری یونانی جاری است.
پاهای برهنهی او گویی میگویند:
تا اینجا آمدهایم دیگر بس است.
هر کودک مرده دور خود پیچیده است
ماری سپید
بر لب تنگ کوچکی از شیر
که اک
...more
Jonathan
Sylvia Plath has long been one of my favorite poets and I am glad I finally got her collected works. I read a handful of these in college, "Daddy" and "Metaphors," but those did not really give me a feel for Plath as an artist. My respect for her has grown even more. She is more complex than I have previously thought. Many of the poems I do not understand and look forward to learning more about interpreting them when I start grad school. But the ones I do get grab at me like a choke hold. "Lady ...more
Mai Mostafa
Jun 18, 2013 Mai Mostafa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't even know, man. There were days when I could not sleep without reading her poetry. I'd like to think, though, that Sylvia would not be very happy with Ted's publishing of all of her poems, since some did not seem good enough for her. Her poetry is heavy with tough vocab and complex forms that sometimes I'd stop and think "What the hell is this poem about?" And don't get me started on how she inspired me to write more poems. That woman's life should be more acknowledged and celebrated rat ...more
Chetley
Jan 11, 2009 Chetley rated it really liked it
3.5 stars would be a better rating, but three stars is unjustifiable. Due to personal allegiances and taste, placing Plath at 5 stars and thererby even with Robert Desnos is impossible for me. With that said, Plath is a master. Her use of imagination, original images, perfectly fitted metaphor, persona, and, especially tone is powerful. Emotion is her thing. It seeps out of her poetry, but never alienates the reader, instead, her pain engages the reader. All those High School goths girls out the ...more
Socialbookshelves.com
Apr 15, 2016 Socialbookshelves.com rated it really liked it
Sylvia Plath was one hell of a writer, and, similarly to how I feel about Charles Bukowski, I always preferred her poetry to her prose. I’ll freely admit that both are very good, but I think that her natural way with words just lends itself to poetry, because she can make words sing to you from a page.

This particular book “contains all Sylvia Plath’s mature poetry written from 1956 up to her death in 1963.” Let’s not talk about her death, because it’s sad to talk about and raises all sorts of ot
...more
Isabel Medlock
Feb 09, 2016 Isabel Medlock rated it it was amazing
I read The Collected Poems for a choice reading assignment in my English class. I had read a few poems by Sylvia Plath before and I had also read The Bell Jar and really enjoyed it so I was excited to read more by Sylvia Plath. The mood of her poems can be generally described as dark and bleak. Death is a prevalent theme as evidenced in the poem below, “Edge”, believed by many to be the last poem Sylvia Plath wrote before her suicide (by sticking her head in an oven with the gas turned on), whic ...more
Goldilocks Reviews
I needed to read a collection of poetry for the final square of my Book Bingo. I've heard good things about Sylvia Plath and chose her at random. Some poems were hard to follow with musty vocabulary and poor verse spacing. All in all, I did like her poetry but just found it a bit confusing. I had to keep reminding myself that these poems were written in the 1950's, not a century earlier. She has the grace and wistfulness of a previous era.

My favorite poems were I Want, I Want; The Colossus, You
...more
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Sylvia Plath was an American poet, novelist, and short story writer.

Known primarily for her poetry, Plath also wrote a semi-autobiographical novel, The Bell Jar, under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas. The book's protagonist, Esther Greenwood, is a bright, ambitious student at Smith College who begins to experience a mental breakdown while interning for a fashion magazine in New York. The plot paralle
...more
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“Eternity bores me,
I never wanted it.

From the poem "Years", 16 November 1962”
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“I lean to you, numb as a fossil. Tell me I'm here.” 583 likes
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