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4.20  ·  Rating details ·  68,079 ratings  ·  3,053 reviews
Ariel was the second book of Sylvia Plath's poetry to be published, and was originally published in 1965, two years after her death by suicide. The poems in Ariel, with their free flowing images and characteristically menacing psychic landscapes, marked a dramatic turn from Plath's earlier Colossus poems. ...more
Paperback, 86 pages
Published 1968 by Faber and Faber (first published 1965)
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Kristin Sure, if they are intelligent Goth kids who have had to hang out in hospitals. Hopefully most young people aren't all about hospitals, Nazi Germany, t…moreSure, if they are intelligent Goth kids who have had to hang out in hospitals. Hopefully most young people aren't all about hospitals, Nazi Germany, the struggle to keep little kids alive, funerals, intense but not especially happy sex, and obsession on the nearness of death. This book is easy everyday reading at 60, but at 16, not so much.(less)
Mark Yes. It is written in English.
Yes. It is written in English.
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Paul Bryant
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
Ahmad Sharabiani
Ariel, Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath was an American poet, novelist, and short-story writer.

She is credited with advancing the genre of confessional poetry and is best known for two of her published collections The Colossus and Other Poems and Ariel, as well as The Bell Jar, a semi-autobiographical novel published shortly before her death.

In 1981 The Collected Poems were published, including many previously unpublished works.

Ariel was the second book of Sylvia Plath's poetry to be published. It was
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
Jon Nakapalau
Haunting and honest - a scalpel that cuts so deep and quick you don't even feel it. The first time I read Ariel I was amazed by the depth and honesty of the poems; there is no 'slight of hand' here - only the raw and honest feelings of an artist dealing with life and the cumulative toll life takes on us all. Will be one of the few books I continue to read through my life. ...more
Feb 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 27, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
rip sylvia plath i know you would've loved phoebe bridgers ...more
Nov 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What do I think? I honestly don't know. My favorite poems were Elm, The Moon and the Yew Tree, and Edge. I admit that Sylvia Plath's poetry may be beyond my ability to fullly understand. I have The Collected Poems, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1982, on my to-read shelf. Maybe the more I read the better I will understand. There is an aura about Sylvia Plath that I find fascinating. Her writing is so unique, so different from anything else, you can't help being drawn to it, like a moth to a fla ...more
Whitney Atkinson
I'm wanting to get into more poetry, but I have to classify books of poetry in two categories: poems I understood, and poems I didn't. The majority of these poems went over my head.

I saw in a previous review that Plath writes very personally, which I suppose is what went wrong here. There were so many abstract references and just being plain honest, 80% of these poems I just had no clue what she was trying to communicate, other than the fact that she wanted to die.
Although I didn't grasp most
Aug 03, 2016 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.
Aug 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Cold glass, how you insert yourself
Between myself and myself.
I scratch like a cat.”

These poems are jagged, visceral, and very, very raw. They’re angry and bruised, “extravagant, like torture.” And they are frequently charged with a dark, mirthless laughter. After all, “there is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” Or so Camus once said.

As a total poetry novice, I might be way off base with some of my impressions—I didn’t even come close to understanding everything I read. But I do k
Asghar Abbas
Dec 17, 2015 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.
Roman Clodia
Jun 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
So, no-one needs another review of Plath's raging, bitter, vengeful poems that batter us with image after startling, shattering image: the scarlet bloom of blood, claustrophobia and airlessness, the dissolution of the female body and voice, balanced by transcendental moments of renewal and rebirth.

But it's worth saying that this edition is based on the 1965 version 'edited' by Ted Hughes which took out poems which he considered too aggressive (presumably towards him?), and which reordered the po
May 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection released two years after her death, written in a grand burst of creativity just before death... I had to get this mainly because of the cover, but I can say that though I have the 'all poems' book, having this separately was worth it.

...And I a smiling woman
I am only thirty.
And like that cat I have nine times to die.
(from "Lady Lazarus")

There are so many themes I could get from here: colors (red, white, black, etc.), moods (uncertainty, calm, quiet joy, being distant), and subject
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
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A groundbreaking collection of poetry that showcases Plath's breathtaking expression and imagination. Although dark in subject matter, Plath does not repel the reader's interest, but rather appeals to the morbid curiosity by using vivid imagery, with words and sentences arranged melodically. It is easy to see why 'Ariel' became one of the most popular and talked about poetry collections of the twentieth century. ...more
Jul 29, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
You feel like you are dropped in a slightly macabre, uncaring countryside as reader of Ariel
People or stars
regard me sadly, I disappoint them.

Sheep in Fog

Cold and heavy scenes from the countryside
I could not run without having to run forever
The Bee Meeting

The sadness of being a mother in Morning Song, the darkness of mental illness and the Holocaust in Lady Lazarus.
Lesbos on being trapped in szyzophrenia and who you could be, if you would not be held back by baby crap.
A Birthday Present shows t
Oct 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"I am the arrow, the dew that flies suicidal"
“I am terrified by this dark thing
That sleeps in me;
All day I feel its soft, feathery turnings, its malignity.”

“And I a smiling woman. I am only thirty. And like the cat I have nine times to die.”

Sylvia Path's poetry is truly remarkable and must be read by all, considering her tragic life!
Susan Budd
This is the light of the mind, cold and planetary.
The trees of the mind are black. The light is blue.
The grasses unload their griefs on my feet as if I were God,
Prickling my ankles and murmuring of their humility.

In “The Moon and the Yew Tree” Sylvia Plath presents, not a vision of the picturesque English churchyard outside her bedroom window, but a mental landscape with more melancholy, more solemnity, more Gothic gloom than any representation of physical reality could ever have.

It is a scen
Renee Godding
"I know the bottom, she says. I know it
with my great tap root:
It is what you fear.
I do not fear it: I have been there..."

5/5 stars

Sylvia Plath has been, and probably always will be, a poet whom words hits me harder than many others’ ever will. Many of the poems in this collection are very familiar to me: I’ve shed tears over them, adored them, resented them, analyzed them to death and absorbed their every message in my heart over the course of years now. However, this was my first time rea
My favourite poems out of this collection: Lady Lazarus, Tulips and Death & Co.
I am only thirty.
And like the cat I have nine times to die.

Bitter, brutal, intelligent and moving.

There is often a temptation to detect fanciful references that prefigure Plath’s suicide by asphyxiation (God knows, there’s enough mention of ‘carbon monoxide’), but to do so unfairly distils Ariel into autobiographical poetry. I prefer to read this as testament to Plath’s wonderfully morbid curiosity.

It’s a problematic collection on a number of levels; racial slurs are used fast and loose and on
This was very up and down. A lot of the poems went right over my head, but a few I enjoyed, including Lady Lazarus, The Rival and The Moon and the Yew Tree. Of them all, I think Lady Lazarus had the most ‘pull’ in that it’s quite deeply emotive in its portrayal of wanting to be dead and the mixture of emotions that comes with this. It was very personal, and there’s no doubt Sylvia Plath has a way with words. For that poem alone, I pulled this up to three stars.

I’m just not sure that for the mos
Oct 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i know it’s ‘basic’ to love sylvia plath, but sorry, i just do. lady lazarus may be one of my favourite poems of all time.
Connie G
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,
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've a call.

The most accurate thing about Ariel has been said "In these poems Plath becomes herself"

I fear that I cannot be objective when I am writing (or talking) about Sylvia Plath because she speaks directly to my heart. I can relate to her poems, I can feel them.
Sylvia Plath is raw, brutal and bitter. That's a fact I suppose, right? But you see
Rayne ♥
This is the most pretentious, arbitrary, and chauvinistic piece of flaming fiction I've ever read.

I thought at first maybe a lack of focus was the issue while I was reading this poetry collection, but as the poems went on, I realized it was just the jumbled, confusing, half-formed poetry. I will admit, Plath has a way with imagery, certain poems seem to flaunt a sort of magic with words, but they are clipped and distorted.

Also, how is this supposed to be a feminist piece of fiction, when an aut
Nov 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: female-authors
Definitely contain some of the best poems by Sylvia Plath. The one I most enjoyed was Lady Lazarus.

Sep 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the originally published edition by her husband, Ted Hughes-- slightly different in arrangement and selection as Plath so carefully chose before her demise.

According to her biographer, Heather Clark, "Plath always clung to this principle- the symbolic transformation from winter to spring-in her life and her art." She noted that love is the first word of the book- it starts with her poem "Morning Song"- one of her most beautiful poems-and ends with the Bee sequence.

Sylvia turned her suff
Mar 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, poetry
Sylvia Plath had a way of rendering things mysterious and disturbing, compelling you to read each poem again and again to unlock the meaning. Compared to The Colossus, Ariel feels a little more mature, a little less concerned with the world, and a lot more fixated on death, specifically, suicide. These beautiful poems are sometimes difficult to read.
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Read Women: Ariel by Sylvia Plath 26 70 Aug 29, 2019 07:05AM  
Non Fiction Book ...: July 17 - Ariel by Slyvia Plath 4 16 Jul 26, 2018 11:47AM  
Ariel 1 8 Apr 20, 2018 07:14AM  
Sylvia Plath Lovers: BEHEMOTHER 1 14 Apr 04, 2017 06:52AM  
All About Books: 1st December 2014 - 'Daddy' by Sylvia Plath 20 57 Dec 08, 2014 06:50AM  

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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 parall ...more

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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.”
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