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4.24  ·  Rating Details ·  35,016 Ratings  ·  940 Reviews
"In these poems...Sylvia Plath becomes herself, becomes something imaginary, newly, wildly and subtly created."
-- From the Introduction by Robert Lowell
Paperback, 105 pages
Published February 3rd 1999 by Harper Perennial Modern Classics (first published 1965)
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Louisa Loli This is a Year 11 and 12 book for IB Literature, the language might be little complicated for young children.
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Paul Bryant
Jan 07, 2014 Paul Bryant rated it it was amazing
Inspired by Paul Legault's brilliant idea of translating Emily Dickinson's poems into English, I thought immediately - I have to steal that idea. So here are some of the Ariel poems of Sylvia Plath translated into English. I have, of course, tried my utmost to perform this task with tact, discretion and good taste.



Look, let's get this straight. I am a tree, you are a woman. We can never be together, not in the way you'd like, anyway. Plus, you're kind of irritati
When I was a kid, I loved stories about intrepid explorers who visited places no one had ever seen before, and died heroically in the attempt. I guess Scott of the Antarctic is the canonical example - though later on, I discovered to my surprise that Norwegians just think he was an idiot who didn't prepare carefully, and that Amundsen was the real hero. There is a wonderful episode in Jan Kjærstad's Erobreren which contrasts the English and Norwegian views of these two great men.

So what's this g
Apr 12, 2014 Dolors rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Exotic Birds
Shelves: poetry, read-in-2014
Either disturbed by some haunting, otherworldly presence or simply because of the purring birdsong I awake on the early hours of this winter morning and I grab Sylvia Plath’s collection of poems Ariel, which is calling to me from my bedside table. Still drowsy with soft shades of silky sheets printed on my cheeks my glassy eyes try to focus on stray words that chop like sharpened axes. Streams of unleashed running waters wash over me but fail to cleanse my soul. I am unsettled. Disturbing images ...more
It probably won't be right to draw comparisons between the Sylvia Plath who wrote Mad Girl's Love Song during her time at Smith's and the Sylvia Plath of Ariel. There's a world of difference between a Sylvia merely mourning lost love and a bitter, lonesome, vengeful, depressed Sylvia trying to live out the last vestiges of a tumultuous life by seeking a form of catharsis through these poems. And, indeed, a very personal set of poems these are.
It took me a while to get through this book not only
My favourite poems out of this collection: Lady Lazarus, Tulips and Death & Co.
The restored edition of Ariel is the group of poems that Sylvia Plath left as a manuscript at the time of her death by suicide in 1963. The originally published Ariel was edited by her former husband, Ted Hughes, who substituted some of her other poems written in the last months of her life. The forward by their daughter, Frieda Hughes, discusses the strengths and weaknesses of each grouping of poems, trying to be fair to each parent.

The poems in Ariel are brilliant and powerful, but often sad,
Aug 06, 2016 Steven rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


Took the wind out of my sails,

and the light out of my eyes.

Not wanting to curse but fuck me! could she write!

As for "Daddy" what heart crushing despair.
Asghar Abbas
Mar 08, 2016 Asghar Abbas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I picked this up last night, wanting to read just one poem, The Moon and the Yew Tree specifically, but I ended up reading all of them, the entire book. I won't pretend to understand what most of her poems were about, but they left me in goosebumps and ashiver. I enjoyed them.

What a mind, what a mind. Utterly glorious. Bane of her existence and yet because of its blackness she still exists today.

Sublime work.

I wish she had written more novels too. Her poetic prose and timings are undeniable.

Ahmad Sharabiani
Jun 03, 2016 Ahmad Sharabiani rated it really liked it
Ariel, Sylvia Plath
غنولن: آریل؛ شاعر: سیلویا پلات
نقره ام، دقیقم، بی هیچ نقش پیشین
هرچه میبینم بی درنگ میبلعم
همان گونه که هست، نیالوده به عشق یا نفرت
بی رحم نیستم، فقط راستگو هستم
چشمان خدایی کوچک، چهار گوشه
اغلب به دیوار رو به رو میاندیشم
صورتی ست و لکه دار
آنقدر به آن نگاه کرده ام که فکر میکنم
پاره ی دل من است
ولی پیدا و ناپیدا میشود
صورت ها و تاریکی بارها ما را از هم جدا میکنند

حالا دریاچه ام
زنی روبرویم خم شده است
برای شناختن خود سرا پای مرا میکاود
آنگاه به شمع ها یا ماه ، این دروغگویان، باز میگردد
Mar 17, 2015 Vanessa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
3.5 stars

I find poetry hard to review. I'm not much of a poet myself: I dabble now and again but I wouldn't call myself one. I don't feel like I have enough knowledge of the craft to fully appreciate poetry, and so I can't really comment on how good it is.

Sylvia Plath is a poet I do like, but I don't love all of her poems. This collection in particular was a little bit of a mixed bag, but I feel like I'll appreciate it more and more on subsequent readings - and I will most definitely be return
Dec 06, 2014 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It feels like Sylvia Plath’s life overshadowed her literary value; her autobiographical novel The Bell Jar was like a confessional and people tend to read it for all the juicy bits. Ariel is a collection of poems published posthumously, just a few years after her suicide. It is true that we have Plath to think for advancing the confessional poetry form and exploring topics previously taboo like suicide, mental illness and domestic abuse.

I would like to thank Meg Wolitzer’s book Belzhar for pushi
Feb 09, 2016 Zanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
(gorgeous, like 6 stars of gorgeous

2 stars lost for outrageously gratuitous use of racial slur and wtf use of the holocaust as symbolic of personal family relationship)
Sep 08, 2016 Chris_P rated it really liked it
I am inhabited by a cry.
Nightly, it flaps out
Looking, with its hooks, for something to love

I opened it just to get a glimpse, only an idea of Sylvia Plath's poetry and man, was I hooked! Her words grabbed me by the neck and dragged me all the way, intoxicating me with bitterness, irony and hard-boiled truth. At times I'd get this feeling of "age", this smell of a time before the 20th century, and then I'd come across a poem like Lesbos and receive the "slap-in-the-face" treatment. It was a jou
Dec 18, 2013 April rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, poetry, loved
Plath astonishes with her grasp on words. What more can I say about her? I've already filled plenty of spaces praising this wondrous woman. Each poem is a breath of fresh air.

'Your handful of notes; / The clear vowels rise like balloons.'

'My bones hold a stillness, the / Fields melt my heart.'

'They threaten / To let me through to a haven / Starless and fatherless, a dark water.'

'A living doll, everywhere you look. / It can sew, it can cook / It can talk, talk, talk.'

'Out of the ash / I rise wi
Aug 06, 2015 Mary rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012, poetry
This is Sylvia. Purging.

Hushed and frantic and brutal.

Written during the last months of her life…her peak was so so beautiful. Tragic.
Özgür Daş
İyi tutulmuş bir hesap defteri gibi, doğrusun,
Tertemiz bir mazisin, kendi yüzünü üstüne koyduğun.
Jan 20, 2016 averybiird rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, poetry, bees

O God, I am not like you
In your vacuous black,
Stars stuck all over, bright stupid confetti.
Eternity bores me,
I never wanted it.

- from Years

Extraordinary, isn’t she? I was captivated by the poems in Ariel and am in agreement with others who view this collection as a masterpiece. For even when I came across a poem I didn’t fully understand, I could still sense the power within the words of Sylvia Plath which are precise, explosive, darkly beautiful.

In the afterword to Ariel author biographer Hal
Mar 11, 2014 Stela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Ariel, Sylvia Plath’s swan song, was first published by her husband Ted Hughes, who removed some poems from her manuscript and added others, composed in her last days, an act that outraged some Plath’s fans, in spite of his explanation that he rearranged the poetry to recreate her life. It was said that by doing that, Hughes changed the spirit of the volume, replacing the optimism suggested by the promise of rebirth in the bees series that closed Plath’s manuscript with the darkness that envelop
Malak Alrashed
I didn't read these poems. I studied them, I draw on the book and dreamed about Sylvia Plath world. You see I have been searching for the kind of poems that will destroy me and rebuild me again. That's what Sylvia did to me. She is not a Designed to Impress kind of writer and yet she'll use a lot of Greek Myths and history metaphors. She'll walk you in a flat land of words, not a pretentious stony one with lots of flashy words. No, just smooth words and yet you will use your dictionary quite oft ...more
Jul 03, 2014 Basuhi rated it it was amazing
Sylvia Plath has a very singular voice-she might be talking about bloody veins and suicide or envy or simply describing doom in the morning sun but it's picturesque and it affects me in the most indefatigable way, almost subliminally-like the beautiful and fatal thoughts of Esther Greenwood. You need to look closer and dig deeper because underneathe that facade of despair is a more subtle shade of human conscience, designed to be missed. My own favorites were: Ariel, The Moon and the Yew Tree ...more
Mar 26, 2015 Courtnie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed, poetry, 2015
If you've read a previous edition of Ariel, drop everything and run out to get this restored edition.

The forward by Frieda slayed me. She poignantly and beautifully paved a way for the reader, preparing them for her mother's work. Plath's poems were made that much more by what she had to say.

It's not even fair for me to rate this upon a once over reading - I've hardly revisited or let any of it sink in...but that forward deserves all the stars.

Jun 26, 2016 Cristina rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Cristina by: Dolors
Abejas, flores, manchas de colores y reproches religiosos para edificar una poesía doliente con continuas referencias al deseo de muerte inminente.

Mi selección personal: Lady Lazarus, Tulips, Youre y Poppies in July.

5 estrellas por haber creado un mundo poético propio muy potente.
Jan 06, 2016 Cami rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry
I'm stepping out alone on this review, it seems. This venue is littered with four and five star reviews for Ariel.

Other than a few poems that truly do shine, I'm going to have to say that I think Sylvia Plath was not a consistently good poet.

Poetry gains deeper meaning when we learn more about a poet. When we (think) we understand the place they were in (physically or mentally), we begin to see the symbols and imagery they laid out as something we connect to and this elevates the work in our ey
Jun 02, 2016 A.K. rated it it was amazing
I am the type seemingly predestined for Plath worship. Oh, it's easy: white, female, feminist, literary, dark-sided. And I've been disavowing my girl Sylvia for a while now, leery of guilt by association. Scandals, hype and armies of ersatz Plaths have watered down public opinion, which is what it is, but life and legend are not the sum of literature. Ariel is baptism by fire. When I read this at thirteen or fourteen it blew up a new space in my mind to make a place where poetry could feel like ...more
I want to make it explicitly clear from the beginning that the star I've docked has absolutely nothing to do with the quality of Plath's poetry. I love Plath. These are five star poems. In particular, "The Applicant", "Lady Lazarus", "Daddy" and "Morning Song" struck me each time I read them. These poems have a remarkable ability to turn on themselves, often contorting the reader's sense of understanding, but just as often providing a moment of clarity hard to come by. No, the actual poetry of A ...more
Infinite Variety Books
Sylvia Plath was a 20th Century American poet and novelist. Ariel, comprising of 43 poems, was her second book of poems and was published 2 years after her death.

I first read (and studied to death) Ariel in College (a few years ago now) and at the time I didn't really enjoy it. Having said that, my enjoyment of anything literary is always diminished when I have to study it with my brain and not feel it with my heart, instead. This second read-through has been all heart and my enjoyment has burst
May 28, 2016 Kerrie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

"The moon has nothing to be sad about,
Staring from her hood of bone.

She is used to this sort of thing.
Her blacks crackle and drag."

This is my first poetry book, shocking I know but I felt it was a good place to start. I can’t say I understood every single poem because they were so obviously very personal to Sylvia and I think as a reader you pull bits out and make them fit into what you want them to mean and make of them what applies to your current emotion if that makes sense, so it becomes
Lettie Prell
Apr 19, 2009 Lettie Prell rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
This has happened several times now. Friends or family sitting around after dinner, and people begin reciting their favorite poems, in whole or in part. It's wonderful being around people who love the rhythm of language. I join in with my favorites from Sylvia Plath and, kind of stops things. Stares and silence. Poems about suicide and father hatred can do that I guess. Yet these are the ones stuck in my head, not because I share the sentiments but because the poems are so bold, raw, ...more
Jul 14, 2007 brook rated it it was amazing
i studied this collection senior year of college in my "hand of the poet" seminar. i wrote a 20 page paper on 3 poems from here. i studied plath's handwriting. i analyzed the placement of each poem, and how hughes (sorry to say) kind of screwed everything up in that regard. to me, this is the ultimate. when i think of good poetry, this is the first thing that pops into my head. when i accidently cut my finger chopping up vegetables for dinner, i immediately begin reciting "cut" to myself. these ...more
Mar 07, 2016 Maria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review will be up soon.
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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 about Sylvia Plath...

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“Dying is an art.
Like everything else,
I do it exceptionally well.
I do it so it feels like hell.
I do it so it feels real.
I guess you could say I have a call.”
“I didn’t want any flowers, I only wanted
to lie with my hands turned up and be utterly empty.
How free it is, you have no idea how free.”
More quotes…