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The Colossus and Other Poems

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  9,524 ratings  ·  272 reviews
With this startling, exhilarating book of poems, which was first published in 1960, Sylvia Plath burst into literature with spectacular force. In such classics as "The Beekeeper's Daughter," "The Disquieting Muses," "I Want, I Want," and "Full Fathom Five," she writes about sows and skeletons, fathers and suicides, about the noisy imperatives of life and the chilly hunger ...more
Kindle Edition, 101 pages
Published November 23rd 2011 by Vintage (first published 1960)
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Batoul by Sylvia Plath
4.19 avg rating — 9,286 ratings — published 1960
With this startling, exhilarating book of poems, which was first published in 1960,…more
by Sylvia Plath
4.19 avg rating — 9,286 ratings — published 1960
With this startling, exhilarating book of poems, which was first published in 1960, Sylvia Plath burst into literature with spectacular force. In such classics as "The Beekeeper's Daughter," "The Disquieting Muses," "I Want, I Want," and "Full Fathom Five," she writes about sows and skeletons, fathe ...more

(less)
Killua no, you can find that one in 'ariel: the restored edition'.
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4.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  9,524 ratings  ·  272 reviews


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Steve
May 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Rob Zombie, David Lynch
Shelves: poetry
The Colossus is the coldest collection of summer poetry you will ever read. I’m certain this paradox was intentional. Moles, maggots, cadavers, suicides, dead snakes, dead things in the surf, dead things on the shore, dead things out in the water, etc. There were times I was bit numbed out by all that dead stuff. For the first third of the collection, I initially felt the influence of Robert Lowell to be obvious in some of the poems (“Point Shirley,” “Hardcastle Crags”). Now I’m not so sure. Yes ...more
Steven Godin
Aug 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: america, poetry
Sylvia Plath has done to me twice in the last 48 hours what not many other writers has ever done before, that being keeping me up into the early hours. Having read the stunning collection of poetry in "Ariel" this was another body of work which shows off her masterful talent and already I crave for more. Troubled genius?, tortured soul?, probably true, but that doesn't bother me, just the greatness of whenever she put pen to paper.
Brent Legault
Apr 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the thin people, all the dead dears
Perhaps I shouldn't have tried to read The Colossus all at once. It's had, it's had an, it's made me. . . I'm sorry, I have to sit down and start again.

Perhaps I shouldn't have tried to read The Colossus all at once. The poems are too rich, too sensual and filling. It was like trying to eat a plateful of prime rib, that's been covered in dark chocolate and deep fried. Delicious, but.

And all the hard words! I don't mean hard like palustral is hard, as in hard to understand because I'd never befo
...more
Theresa
Dec 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Sylvia Plath's words are magical, haunting, beautiful, and forever burned into my brain. May you rest in peace, you tortured, gorgeous, sensitive soul you.

Edward
Mar 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, poetry
Plath writes poems that are elemental, attuned to the natural world, transfixed by decay, yet at times darkly humorous. Many are inscrutable on first reading, but become magically alive on the second. Others sing with clarity from the beginning – I like these best.
Florencia
Mar 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
Lorelei
⏯ ◼ ⏭

It is no night to drown in:
A full moon, river lapsing
Black beneath bland mirror-sheen,

The blue water-mists dropping
Scrim after scrim like fishnets
Though fishermen are sleeping,

The massive castle turrets
Doubling themselves in a glass
All stillness. Yet these shapes float

Up toward me, troubling the face
Of quiet. From the nadir
They rise, their limbs ponderous

With richness, hair heavier
Than sculptured marble. They sing
Of a world more full and clear

Than can be. Sisters, your song
Bears a bu
...more
Malanie
I stand by Sylvia Plath poetry being amazingly better than The Bell Jar to this day :)

✨💙✨My favorite lines from Colossus:✨💙✨

➡"Hours of blankness. Some hard stars / Already yellow the heavens."

➡"Blameless as daylight I stood looking"

➡"Sun struck the water like a damnation. / No pit of shadow to crawl into, / And his blood beating the old tattoo / I am, I am , I am..."

➡"You defy other godhood. / I walk dry on your kingdom's border / Exiled to no good."

➡"Mark, I cry, that mouth / Made to do viol
...more
Jamie
Apr 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, read-in-2010
Poor Colossus. I've never given the collection much credit; like many, I was rather blinded by the incandescence of the Ariel poems, and tended to think of this book as a sort of worksheet preparing for those late poems. But that isn't an entirely fair assessment. Sure, some of the poems here feel like drafts for what would come later ("Man In Black" seems to predict "Medusa," "Moonrise" feels like the exercise that enabled her to write "Blackberrying"), and some seem a bit too stiflingly in the ...more
Vanessa
Feb 07, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5 stars.

The Colossus was the first and only poetry collection by Sylvia Plath published in her lifetime, and unfortunately it was a bit of a mixed bag for me. From what I understand of the collection, the order in which the poems appear in the collection is generally chronological, and you are able to see Plath's poetry expand and her ability grow throughout the course of reading the book.

I find Plath's poetry at times to be beautiful and arresting, but more often than not in this collection
...more
Rhonda
Jan 08, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Adriana Scarpin
The Colossus

I shall never get you put together entirely,
Pieced, glued, and properly jointed.
Mule-bray, pig-grunt and bawdy cackles
Proceed from your great lips.
It's worse than a barnyard.
Perhaps you consider yourself an oracle,
Mouthpiece of the dead, or of some god or
other.
Thirty years now I have labored
To dredge the silt from your throat.
I am none the wiser.

Scaling little ladders with glue pots and pails
of lysol
I crawl like an ant in mourning
Over the weedy acres of your brow
To mend the immens
...more
Jenna
"The Colossus," from what I understand, was Plath's first published collection of poetry. During this early phase of Plath's career, she still treated the act of writing poetry as a laborious and painstaking process, often diligently looking up words in the thesaurus and then inserting many synonyms of one word into a single composition. This rather pedantic attitude toward poetry shows in these poems, many of which devoutly adhere to difficult rhyme schemes (albeit frequently using slant rhymes ...more
Katie Marquette
Jul 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Have this book on your bedside table for those lonely, stormy nights when you want to hide underneath your covers and read something dark and meaningful. Sylvia's a beautiful writer - there's no denying I'm a fan. I like that we get to see inside her nightmares, and subsequently, our own. My copy of this collection is filled with annotations in the margins, creased pages, and wear and tear from constant use. Many of the poems are plain out disturbing and you're not going to get a 'feel good' exp ...more
Ashley
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
4.5 stars. This was the first full collection of Plath's poem that I'd read and I absolutely loved it. The poems in this collection contained fresh images and there were no staleness nor redundancy. I fully ascertained the reason why Plath is regarded as one of the best poets.
Connie  Kuntz
Jul 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think it's a wonderful thing to slow down and read Plath's poetry. She's such a convincing, thorough writer. Her sense of humor is so unique and slow. I'm not sure the world will ever stop mourning her death. Everybody already knows Plath was a brilliant writer, so I won't spend too much time writing a review. Instead, here are a couple excerpts:

From "Mushrooms":

"We shall by morning
Inherit the earth.
Our foot's in the door."

Funny, yes?

Plus, she has a remarkable ability to write sensuously a
...more
K.m.
Dec 01, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Plath is a poet more to be admired than loved. At times she leaves a crack to look through, displays her vulnerability, but so much of what she writes feels overly academic, overly composed, overly self-conscious. Poetry seems a scholarly exercise, rather than an expression of feeling to her. That said, 'On the Difficulty of Conjuring up a Dryad' and 'Black Rook in Rainy Weather' are beautiful exceptions.

"No doubt now in dream-propertied fall some moon-eyed,/ star-lucky sleight-of-hand man watc
...more
Matt
Apr 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Prime rib covered in dark chocolate"? "Comes from the darkest crevices of herself"? Shudder... It's sentiments like these which contribute to our culture's overwhelming indifference (perhaps even resentment)towards poetry. Poetry isn't wussy, it's not some superfluous thing which can only be grasped by the suicidal-chic. Plath's poetry is frankly, a lot more than that. Yes, there's pain. There is some death. But there's also tranquility, poignancy,and, more times than not, a hell of a lot of hu ...more
Greg
Oct 24, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
The only way I could tell if Plath had ended a poem is when there was considerable blank space after the last line. And when a poem did indeed reach the last printable line on an odd-numbered page, it was only when I turned the page that I discovered if a poem had ended, or not. One can switch verses around, retitle them any ol' way, print everything backwards, whatever. As the "genius-with-word-and-song" Kurt Cobain famously begged, "Here we are now, entertain us." But to Plath, no doubt, he wa ...more
Jessica
Nov 10, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I did not find this collection particularly enjoyable, which was a massive shame as I'm entirely obsessed with Plath at the minute. I think it's massively less confessional than Ariel so I found it a bit uncomfortable in that sense, I kind of like when poets confess all their shit! But yeah, I'm not sure what it was it just didn't strike me in anyway, no poem in particular stood out as amazing, quite disappointed
dina
Jul 24, 2016 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
dnf at 50% due to my lack of understanding of the poems, though they are no less beautiful than the credit that I gave
G.
Dec 12, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm surprised I didn't care for the Colossus poems much. They felt really over-worked to me.
Boo
Apr 30, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
'Scaling little ladders with gluepots and pails of Lysol I crawl like an ant in mourning over the weedy acres of your brow'

3.5 stars
AHMED ADEL
Aug 31, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
One or two poems are quite good,
the others are utterly tedious!
Anna (lion_reads)
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, 2018, poetry
The old god, too, writes aureate poetry
In tarnished modes, maundering among the wastes,
Fair chronicler of every foul declension.
Age, and ages of prose, have uncoiled
His talking whirlwind, abated his excessive temper
When words, like locusts, drummed the darkening air
And left the cobs to rattle, bitten clean.


Reading Sylvia Plath is always an experience. Her play with language, the sometimes sudden ornateness of her poems, the rhythm of the syllables, the deliciously dark atmosphere that she ofte
...more
Mary Ozbolt
Only read some poems, but come on, it's Sylvia. I'll be back. ❤
Best
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, 2017-reads
Stunning and haunting collection. Surprisingly, I liked it more than Ariel.
The Reading Countess
I know. She was heralded as a genius. I just didn’t get half of what she was saying. My fault, not hers-just impeded my appreciation of her artistry.
Neha
May 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Father, this thick air is murderous /
I would breathe water.”

I wasn’t a fan of Sylvia Plath before reading this collection - in fact, I thought her writing was slightly annoying. But this, this collection really moved me. After I finished reading it, I just sat. I had to sit with and mull over and savor these beautiful poems.

I don’t know how to explain those feelings. These poems were poignant and clean; I guess I felt pure or purified. Regardless, one thing I can say for sure is that this colle
...more
Mohammed Abdi Osman
Plath is a writer i knew very little about beforehand but reading her poetry and the brilliant way she puts words together she is the type of poet I prefer. Style, wordsmith poet over poets about social ,political content or those that write playing literary games of writing difficult poems that just put words together.

This collection i impulse bought because of her reputation as a poet and didnt know it was her first published book of poems. Its truly shocking,freaky to me that she could have r
...more
Sheri S.
Jun 21, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I haven't read a book of poetry since perhaps high school. (And, I picked this book up to fulfill a requirement that I read a "Staff Pick" for my library's adult summer reading program.) I wasn't very impressed by Plath's work though I know she is quite famous in the world of poetry. I just didn't have the patience to delve into the meaning of the poetry. Her imagery, at times, was fascinating but I found the topics of the poems (nature, love, death, etc.) to be fairly dry. It will probably be a ...more
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Mentor Texts: Mentor Texts 1 2 May 01, 2016 12:22PM  
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Sylvia Plath Lovers: Missing Strophe in The Ghost's Leavetaking? 1 5 Jul 08, 2012 05:20AM  

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12,413 followers
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
“Love is the bone and sinew of my curse.” 94 likes
“My hours are married to shadow.” 13 likes
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